Asian markets are trading broadly higher on Wednesday following overnight gains for European markets, and the new record closes on Wall Street. Investors continue to downplay the impact of the coronavirus, which has now claimed over 1,000 lives and continues to spread.
Japanese investors have returned following a public holiday and are sending the Nikkei 0.5% higher. Despite the broader gains shares of Softbank and Toyota are 0.2% lower, while Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing is falling 0.4%, and convenience store operator Family Mart has a 0.6% loss.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite began the day in negative territory but has since recovered to trade up by 0.1%, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite has a 0.5% gain. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is extending its gains and rising 0.6% to lead the Asian region for a second consecutive session.
In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 trades 0.5% higher. The big four banks are leading gains, with NAB trading up by 1.2%, while ANZ has a 0.5% gain, Westpac is 0.7% higher, and Commonwealth Bank is surging higher by 4% after reporting its net profit for the first half of fiscal 2020 rose 34%. Major miners and oil stocks are both trading lower today.
Southeast Asian markets are mixed as the Straits Times in Singapore has a 0.4% gain, but the Jakarta Composite in Indonesia has fallen 0.6% and the KLCI in Malaysia trades lower by less than 0.1%.