Asia Markets: Asian markets mostly rise, as Nikkei eyes 5th straight gain

Asia Markets: Asian markets mostly rise, as Nikkei eyes 5th straight gain

Asian stock markets mostly rose modestly in early trading Thursday, continuing recent gains fueled by investors setting aside trade concerns for now.

Japanese stocks opened to muted trading, with the Nikkei NIK, +0.00%  up 0.2% after consecutive gains of more than 1% on Tuesday and Wednesday. Still, the index was on pace for a fifth straight gain. The dollar USDJPY, -0.14%   remained around ¥112.30, the same as where it was when local stock trading ended yesterday. The banking and insurance sectors led gains, with Dai-ichi Life 8750, +1.24%   up 1% and Mitsubishi UFJ 8306, +2.70%   up 2%.

Hong Kong stocks started strongly, looking to add to yesterday’s big gains. The Hang Seng HSI, +0.17%   was up 0.5% as Tencent 0700, +0.56%   bounced 2% as the company continued to buy back stock. Insurer Ping An 2318, +0.91%   — which has notable tech holdings — rose a further 1%. Elsewhere, smartphone-component makers AAC 2018, +1.32%   and Sunny Optical 2382, +0.32%   each rose about 1.5%.

Mainland China stocks were about flat, with the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +0.00%   and the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, +0.03%   alternating between slight gains and losses.

Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.99%   was up 0.8% to lead the region after being one of the few indexes to fall Wednesday. Samsung 005930, +2.71%   was up a further 2%.

Benchmarks in Australia

XJO, -0.18%   and New Zealand NZ50GR, -0.08%   fell slightly, while Taiwan Y9999, -0.07%  , Singapore STI, +0.10%   and Malaysia FBMKLCI, +0.33%   were mixed.

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