Asia markets trade mostly higher
CNBC: Asian markets traded mostly higher Wednesday, tracking US gains following remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, but shares of Toshiba tumbled.
Toshiba shares dropped 10.4 per cent in the morning session in Tokyo after Reuters reported the company expected to book a $6.3 billion hit to its US nuclear unit and expected to sell more of its prized flash-memory chip business to urgently raise funds. Reuters added, citing a source, that the Japanese company's loans from banks and insurers stood at $7 billion.
Nomura said in a note dated 14 February , it was changing its rating on Toshiba from Buy to Suspended. Analyst Masaya Yamasaki said in the note that Nomura's view on Toshiba had centered on the potential for the memory business.
"The company announced for the first time today that it is considering selling a majority stake in the memory business along with other options for injecting capital from outside sources, making it difficult to price in the memory business' potential," said Yamasaki.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that Toshiba Chairman Shigenori Shiga would resign from his post effective Wednesday, while the former chief executive of Toshiba's US nuclear-plant business Westinghouse Electric, Danny Roderick, was stripped of his executive post, the Journal said.
In other Japanese corporate activity, internet and telecom giant SoftBank announced a $3.3 billion cash acquisition of asset manager Fortress Investment Group. SoftBank shares climbed 1.16 per cent to 8,634.0 yen.
Japanese banks and financial companies beat the broader stock average, with Mitsubishi UFJ up 2.33 per cent, SMFG up 2.17 per cent and Mizuho Financial gaining 1.63 per cent.
Broadly, the Nikkei Stock Average climbed 1.22 per cent, while the Topix traded up 1.11 per cent. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi was up 0.42 per cent.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 1.26 per cent, while Chinese mainland shares were mostly positive. The Shanghai composite was up 0.25 per cent, while the Shenzhen composite traded nearly flat at 1,963.88.
Australia's benchmark ASX 200 climbed 1.03 per cent, as most sectors traded higher. The heavily-weighted financial sector was up 1.92 per cent, with major banks gaining more than 1 per cent each.
Shares of ANZ gained 1.82 per cent, Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 2.65 per cent, Westpac added 2.11 per cent and the National Australia Bank climbed 2.36 per cent.
Major miner BHP Billiton gained 1.56 per cent in afternoon trade.
Reuters reported that striking workers at Chile's massive Escondida copper mine and BHP, which operates the mine, have agreed to renew talks on Wednesday. The mine produced over 1 million tonnes of copper, about 5 per cent of the world's total in 2016, according to Reuters. Copper prices rose 0.58 per cent to $6,056 a tonne on Wednesday morning, after falling to $6,021 in the previous session.
Fed Chair Yellen said in prepared remarks to Congress that waiting too long to raise interest rates would be "unwise," given the rise in inflation and economic growth.
Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at the National Australia Bank, said in a note the remarks "triggered a sell-off in US Treasury yields and a broad dollar rally as she left the door open for a rate hike as soon as the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting in March."
The dollar climbed against a basket of currencies to trade at 101.20 at 11:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday, from levels below 100.8 in the previous session.
Among major currency pairs, the yen weakened slightly against the dollar to trade at 114.32, down from an earlier high of 114.19. The euro fetched $1.0577, while the Australian dollar traded at $0.7674.
Some analysts believe the dollar could extend gains as Yellen continues her testimony before Congress on Wednesday.
On Wall Street on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 92.25 points, or 0.45 per cent, to end at 20,504.41. The S&P 500 index gained 9.33 points, or 0.40 per cent, to close at 2,337.58, while the Nasdaq advanced 18.62 points, or 0.32 per cent, to end at 5,782.57.
- Since taking over from Avant Garde Navy’s OBST earns Rs 3 B for Govt 3825
- Schools big match season 22 vehicles in custody 3793
- President hints at Cabinet reshuffle 3837
- Three Lankan pilgrims die Extremely cold weather in Dambadiva 3792
- 2,484 dengue patients in Trinco 3784
- Wimal taken to prison hospital Hunger strike enters fifth day 3798
- President misled on Wilpattu issue – ECT Gazette provides zero relief for destruction 3810
- R’kanth’s Jaffna visit dropped 3775
- Rajinikanth’s SL tour cancellation Welcomed by Parties barring BJP 3781
- IUSF in 65 anti-SAITM protests Demand scrapping of Institute 3788
- JVPer claims paddy sold to distillery at Rs 28 3835
- Maligawa Road will remain closed – Kiriella 3811
- Suspect arrested with revolver 3780
- Soma Agnes Maduragoda dies George Perera’s Mother-in-law 3781
- Strike in Afghanistan US confirms al-Qaida figure killed 3776
- From Russia with friendship: ‘Kandyan Kastane’ 3289
- Is the Government attempting to STIFLE PUBLIC’S RIGHT TO PROTEST? 3285
- Protests, fisticuffs and fast unto death 3236
- Are tourism authorities wearing blinkers? 3204
- A time of gifts 3136
- Nationalists and globalists 3125
- Richmond emerge champions 2712
- SL in deep slump 2724
- Lyon claims four key wickets 2710
- Joes beat Antonians 2703
- Muthuthanthri set for captaincy ? 2739
- Vettel wins Australian Grand Prix 2712
- Arrogate wins Dubai World Cup thriller 2714
- Federer, Wawrinka advance in Miami 2711
- Latham shines in New Zealand gloom 2704
- Dutch suffer World Cup shock 2709
- The roles people play Prioritizing Sex & Gender 3163
- Typical double standards & hypocrisy 3029
- Main cause of kidney diseases 3076
- ‘Posh Pooches’ to be lavished with love 3030
- Preventive measures 3009
- Opening a can of worms 3062
- COMPOUNDED MISERY 3568
- Forefathers of Tamils of SL were original inhabitants of this Country 3749
- Jaffna Prepares for Chronic Kidney Disease 3426
- A Blueprint for Disintegration 3401
- Rewarded for sensitizing rights of the disabled 3116
- Foreign Judges can hear cases – Niran Anketell 3086
- We await President’s response – Gemunu 3230
- LTTE atrocities also have to be investigated 3808
- Exporters to EU must be educated on Brexit – GM ECCSL Srinath 3296
- Speaker refused our request 3287
- G20 drops pledge to fight protectionism Bows down to US opposition in spite of China 3317
- Chinawood: The merging of ‘Hollywood’ and ‘Made in China’ 3297
- Facebook to challenge YouTube and Spotify 3296
- Revised IMF deal expected by April Disbursement by June – Central Bank 3304
- Sri Lankan to maintain fleet position 3448
- High production costs hurting shipbuilding industry 3302
- Pak PM keen to fully utilize SL FTA 3304
- Flemingo to open new BIA duty free on 1 July 3301
- NTB arranges $20M syndicated loan for Maldivian firm 3303
- Banker award recognizes our financial discipline – Ravi K 3312
- HYUNDAI LANKA CONDUCTS FREE TUCSON CAR CLINIC 3294
- Asia-Pacific Economic Preview: 27-31 March 3300
- Remittances and exporter conversions to boost rupee 3299
- OPPO launches Selfie Expert F3 plus with Dual Selfie Camera 3314
- LAUGFS Group Chairman receives ‘Deshabandu’ national honour 3299
- The crisis in Parliament: Twilight of a functioning democracy 3495
- Mispriced Risk of Infectious Diseases 2439
- Limelight on Sri Lanka again 2443
- Musicalisation of Narrative 3892
- The Many Faces of Galle -Part 2 3922
- Footpaths Towards Deconstruction- Part 14 3898
- Afternoon Shadows 3911
- Living up to ideals 4057
- Clash of the Titans in Nuwara Eliya 3943
- Musicalized Version of Nostalgia 5454
- The Many Faces of Galle 6316
- The plight of our corals 1725
- India’s largest international décor mall launched in Bangalore 1704
- The games gods and politicians play 1701
- A challenged life 1691
- The Threshold: Patching up our privileged defeats 1760
- Animal assisted therapy 1697
- Empowering vocational studies 1816
- Your dream gaming machine 1815
- An enchanting remake 1813
- Refreshingly delicious 1816
- Xiumin 1815
- Batteries to firebombs 1328