Asian stock markets mostly moved ahead Wednesday, with Tokyo opening from holiday with a large gain and Shanghai ending up, although Hong Kong traded essentially flat.
The U.S. dollar hit a 14-year high against a basket of currencies, while oils softened. Overnight gains on Wall Street underlined sentiments, as well as positive postings on industrial purchasing-managers’ indexes.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 opened 2017 by posting a 2.51% gain, boosted mainly by a stronger U.S. dollar, regarded as a positive in export-oriented Japan.
The headline Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) posted 52.4 in December, up from 51.3 in November, topping expectations. Overnight gains on Wall Street helped set the tone, said analysts. It was the highest finish on the index sine December 2015 and brokers said foreign purchases were strong.