Asia markets follow US stocks higher – CNBC

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Asia markets traded higher on Wednesday morning after a rise in oil prices powered gains in U.S. equities overnight and China trade data showed exports climbed in March.

Australia’s ASX 200 was up 1.26 percent, boosted by advances in the heavily-weighted financials subindex, up 1.34 percent. The energy and materials subindexes were also up 2.81 and 2.76 percent respectively.

Chinese mainland markets also advanced, with the Shanghai composite up 2.02 percent and the Shenzhen composite higher by 1.83 percent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index advanced 2.06 percent.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 2.53 percent, buoyed by relative weakness in the yen against the dollar. The dollar/yen pair traded at 108.84 as of 10:04 a.m. HK/SIN time, advancing from 108.53 in the previous session.

Major Japanese exporters were mostly higher, with shares of Toyota up 2.08 percent, Nissan rising 2.78 percent and Honda adding 2.61 percent. Shares of Sony declined 0.36 percent.

A weaker yen is a positive for exporters as it increases their overseas profit when converted into local currency.

Stephen Innes, a senior foreign exchange trader at OANDA, said in a note that the recent slowdown in yen appreciation is not too unexpected. “Airwaves [are] running thick with intervention chatter and event risk premiums are skyrocketing, as traders debate what’s next for the Bank of Japan,” he said.

Innes added the Japanese central bank needs to step up their game, but said, “given the market’s apparent lack of confidence in any BOJ policy, market price momentum continues to favor a move to 105 as the overwhelming percentage of traders continue to advocate dollar/yen from the short side.”

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