Asian Shares Rebound As Geopolitical Fears Abate

Asian stocks posted broad-based gains on Wednesday as the concerns triggered by North Korea’s missile firing eased somewhat.

North Korea said the launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan was to counter U.S. and South Korean military drills.

While U.S. President Donald Trump offered a surprisingly subdued response to the missile launch, the U.N. Security Council has condemned the missile provocation, but stopped short of imposing new sanctions or other specific measures to rein in Pyongyang.

Chinese stocks ended little changed as losses in the banking sector offset gains in airline stocks in the wake of a resurgent yuan, which hit a 14-month high against the U.S. dollar on stronger institutional and corporate dollar sales.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index edged down 1.60 points or 0.05 percent to 3,363.63, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 1.1 percent at 28,082 in late trade.

Gains in exporters on the back of a weaker yen and solid retail sales data helped Japanese shares recover all of the previous session’s losses.

The Nikkei average climbed 143.99 points or 0.74 percent to 19,506.54 after hitting a four-month low on Tuesday. The broader Topix index closed 0.62 percent higher at 1,607.65.

Hitachi and Sony jumped around 3 percent each, Panasonic gained 0.8 per cent and Canon rose 0.6 percent. Dunlop Sports soared as much as 15 percent on news that it would merge with Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

Retail sales in Japan jumped a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent month-on-month in July, the Ministry of Economy of Trade and Industry said today. That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.3 percent after a 0.2 percent gain in June.

Australian shares finished on a flat note as Telstra shares plunged and data on construction activity and building approvals painted a mixed picture of the economy.

Telstra, the country’s biggest telecommunications company, slumped 6.3 percent as shares went ex-dividend and the company dropped a plan to securitize payments from the National Broadband Network.

Ramsay Health Care tumbled 5.2 percent despite the company meeting its full-year guidance. Rising copper and nickel prices helped lift mining stocks, with OZ Minerals rising 1.3 percent and BlueScope Steel adding 2.9 percent.

Seoul shares shrugged off early losses to end modestly higher as geopolitical tensions ebbed and the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years finally began to move away from Houston. The benchmark Kospi inched up 7.55 points…

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