Asia markets mostly higher; Nikkei jumps 3.2% – CNBC

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Asia markets closed higher on Thursday, with the Japanese benchmark index leading gains across the region on the back of a weaker yen.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 529.83 points, or 3.23 percent, to 16,911.05, extending advances on the back of the yen’s recent, relative weakness against the dollar. In recent sessions, the index had come under pressure, when the yen broke under the 108 handle to the dollar.

Australia’s ASX 200 closed up 63.94 points, or 1.27 percent, at 5,118.60, boosted by a 1.51 percent advance in the heavily-weighted financials sub-index. The country’s so-called Big Four banks – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and NAB – added between 1.33 and 2.64 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi returned to trade after being closed on Wednesday, rising 34.61 points, or 1.75 percent, to 2,015.93. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 0.76 percent as of 2:27 p.m. HK/SIN time.

Chinese markets ended higher after wavering during the session. The Shanghai composite added 0.52 percent, or 15.90 points, to 3082.54, while the Shenzhen composite tacked on 1.02 percent, or 20.02 points, to 1982.45..

Overnight, U.S. equities closed higher, helped by gains in financial stocks. “Risky assets have continued to benefit from an improvement in sentiment,” said Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at the National Australia Bank, in a morning note.

“Bank stocks have led the surge in equity markets [overnight] and most commodities have also enjoyed some gains, despite of a pullback in oil prices. The dollar is broadly stronger with safe haven currencies the underperformers,” Catril said.

Asia markets mostly higher; Nikkei jumps 3.2% – CNBC}