Asia higher as Shanghai reverses early losses – CNBC

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Elsewhere, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7812 as of 11:35 a.m. HK/SIN time, after finishing at $0.7793 overnight.

Australian banking stocks advanced on Thursday, with the ASX 200’s heavily weighted financials subindex adding 0.89 percent. The country’s so-called Big Four banks – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and NAB – were up between 1.1 and 1.8 percent.

The advance came after the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) said the country’s banks will begin to implement comprehensive new measures to protect consumer interests, increase transparency and accountability and build trust and confidence in banks. The measures include improved customer protection, banks being held accountable for poor conduct and better support for whistleblowers.

In the previous trading session, the Big Four saw some sell-off in the afternoon. Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG, said if the banks “begin to fall out of favor again, it will make it very difficult for the ASX to hit [the] 5,300 given their heavy market capitalization weighting.”

On Wednesday, the benchmark index closed above the 5,200 level for the first time since January.

Australian resource producers also advanced, with major miners Rio Tinto, Fortescue and BHP Billiton adding between 2.32 and 4.62 percent on the back of higher commodity prices.

Three month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.18 percent, aluminum advanced 0.18 percent and nickel was higher 0.7 percent in mid-morning trade. Steel futures in Shanghai were up some 7.64 percent on Thursday, while overnight iron ore prices advanced 4.04 percent to $64.30 a tonne.

Overnight, an advance in oil prices sent U.S. stocks higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average adding 0.24 percent, the S&P 500 higher by 0.08 percent and Nasdaq composite up 0.16 percent.

Asia higher as Shanghai reverses early losses – CNBC}