Japanese stocks led gains in the major regional markets, with the Nikkei 225 up 2.32% to close at 21,916.31 as stocks in the Fastweighting Fast Retailing index jumped 3.7%. The Topix also rose 1.8% to end its trading day at 1,577.34.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index fell 1.11% in its last trading hour, as stocks by Chinese tech giant Tencent fell 2.95%. Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed during the day, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.33% to around 2,846.22 while the Shenzhen component slipped 0.227% to around 10,653.49.
Elsewhere, the S & P / ASX 200 in Australia jumped 1.32% to close at 5,851.10 after the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Philip Lowe, told lawmakers that “it is the economic downturn may not be as severe as expected ”.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.13% to end its trading day at 2,028.54.
Overall, the MSCI Asia excluding Japan index was slightly lower.
“The value we saw in the markets has almost disappeared and it has happened in the past, you know, a few trading days,” said Crabb. “” We are now looking for high-risk, lower-yielding equity markets. ”
Increase in American-Chinese tensions
Developments in US-China relations have likely continued to be watched by investors as tensions between the two economic powers mount.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from China, raising questions about the Special Administrative Region’s favorable trade relations with the United States and opening up the possibility of sanctions against the Chinese authorities. Pompeo’s comments came after Beijing’s proposed national security law sparked protests in Hong Kong.
The House of Representatives also passed a law on Wednesday condemning China for the detention and torture of Uighur Muslims in the western Xinjiang region.
Oil prices fall
Oil prices remained lower in the afternoon of trading hours in Asia as the internationally benchmark Brent crude futures contract fell 2.27% to $ 33.95 a barrel. American crude futures also fell 3.29% to $ 31.73 a barrel.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, was last at 98.885 after hitting levels above 99.6 earlier in the trading week.
The Japanese yen traded at 107.81 for the dollar after weakening from levels below 107.6 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands to $ 0.6619 after dropping above $ 0.665 yesterday.
– Tucker Higgins from CNBC contributed to this report.