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.
- China to provide 90 water bowsers worth Rs 1b 2432
- Wag the Dog 2394
- A brief look at FARC’s origins in Colombia 2352
- ‘Panama Papers’ bags Pulitzer 2376
- SAITM will cooperate with Govt 2408
- dead man was near fashion mall 2415
- Japanese MPs back Lanka’s development 2392
- CB Bond earnings whitewashed – JVP 2387
- Talks to extend Lanka’s Continental Shelf 2401
- Ex-DIG and son re-remanded 2405
- Government can be sent home 2954
- GMOA flogging SAITM for Mahinda– Rajitha 2411
- Ranil invites Japan to invest in S. Asia 2361
- Somali Pirates’ Captives Back Home 2377
- Customs in Rs 8 M bust 2381
- Redefining Rape 2679
- The march of folly Our mad Cabinet system 2013
- First adventures in Europe 2107
- Inspiration for writers 2098
- Sri Lanka’s sustainable development dream 2681
- Sinhala and Tamil New Year with Easter 2288
- Filipino Oconer wins overall title 2024
- Unsporty conduct by Joes 2076
- Bertie Wijesinghe, pre-Test era Sri Lankan cricketer, dies aged 96 2031
- CEAT revs up for 2017 2062
- Palace shock Arsenal 2013
- Argentina fire coach Bauza 2026
- BCCI postpones SGM to 18 April 1991
- Murray returns from injury 2008
- New mum Azarenka to return to WTA 1969
- Galle win by 188 runs 1975
- Keeping Cool 2020
- Do the right thing and do it now! 2033
- Ravi Jayewardene Pious son of a political giant 2618
- In the heart of the old country 2441
- Sarath Weerasekera’s Geneva adventure 2277
- No moral right to play with public funds 2227
- No need for fine if route permits are issued in fair, just manner 2167
- UDA incurs Rs 330M Loss 2067
- DOUSING A MEGA SHIP FIRE 1873
- Health authorities in denial? 2381
- Minorities’ frustration a powder keg – VIDURA 2367
- Administrative powers a must for the Plantation Tamils –Radhakrishnan 1631
- Rajapaksa sought advice from McGuinness– Indika Perera 2798
- I will lead SLFP to victory in future elections – President 2158
- Hang the ‘traitors’– RTD. REAR ADMIRAL WEERASEKARA 2610
- We oppose Nationalism and Federalism – Samarasinghe 3218
- SilkAir launches direct flights to Colombo 2097
- Rupee falls on thin volumes 2047
- SriLankan, Japan Airlines add new routes 2031
- Colombo Port box volume up 5.6-pct in Jan 2042
- Private sector to transform into main domestic growth engine 2040
- Oil eases from 5-week top, rising US production weighs 2012
- Tight fiscal and monetary policies constrain SL’s growth 2039
- Shell admits dealing with money launderer 2017
- Toshiba may sell chip business to Foxconn for $27bn 2022
- Asian shares pressured by geopolitical risks; Nikkei down 0.25% 2000
- SLIM launches Certificate in Digital Marketing 2018
- Microsoft Hosts Second ‘Device Day’ in Sri Lanka 2013
- Emirates named Best Airline in the World 1978
- Turkish Airlines and social media assist Somalia 2013
- Brain cell therapy ‘promising’ for Parkinson’s disease 2010
- Trump pushed into bombing Syria 2073
- Thailand discovers Power of Women Travellers 2050
- Economics of gambling 1978
- Trans National Aural Identity 3601
- Queen Anula The Shadow of Cleopatra 3686
- Poetry and its possibilities Part 2 3675
- The Enigma of Labyrinths 3749
- From Couture to Kutir 3667
- Hybrid Sources 5049
- Offering Riddles & Enigmas 5086
- Poetry and its possibilities 5213
- With a festive bang! 1261
- Easter Fun 1260
- Arrogance and crowing is the way of the doomed 1301
- Avurudu on the streets 1312
- Tick control 1349
- Sunny Sunday on the beach 1271
- It’s time to save the world 1299
- From viewer to YouTuber! 1348
- Expert skincare and makeup 1349
- Avurudu at Induruwa 1328
- Exo 1356
- Remembering our fallen heroes 2436