ASIA MARKETS: Nikkei Leaps To 22-month High; Other Asian Markets Quiet

By Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Stocks in China, Hong Kong hope for boost by looming MSCI decision

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The Nikkei Stock Average jumped more than 1% to a fresh 22-month high as the yen fell, though other Asia-Pacific markets were relatively quiet following a global rally Monday that pushed some indexes in the U.S. and Europe to fresh highs.

In addition, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley expressed optimism on Monday about the U.S. economy. He also signaled a willingness by the Fed to continue raising rates gradually.

"With Dudley perceived as a 'dove' at the Fed, this is an important reaffirmation of Fed intent," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.

U.S. tech heavyweights, which went through a rough patch earlier this month, rebounded on Monday. Apple (AAPL) rose 2.9% after sliding in six of the prior seven sessions.

Taiwan, which is home to a number of Apple suppliers, saw its benchmark index rise. The Taiex added 0.7% to 10323, putting it 70 points away from an intraday high reached in 2000, with iPhone maker Hon Hai (2317.TW) rising 3.7% to hit another record. On Monday, the Taiex recorded its highest closing level since 1990.

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The Nikkei , which climbed 1.2% over the prior two sessions, rose that much Tuesday morning as the yen was broadly weaker overnight. The U.S. dollar remained around Yen111.65 .

Following broad gains yesterday, Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng eased 0.1%, respectively, while Chinese equities were also little changed.

After the close of U.S. stock trading today, MSCI will say whether it will include some stocks traded in mainland China in its widely followed emerging-markets index. Analysts say sentiment would be lifted in Hong Kong and on the mainland if MSCI decided to include these Chinese stocks.

Australian stocks lagged Tuesday, with the S&P/ASX 200 index down 0.4%. The country's big banks, which make up about a quarter of the benchmark's weighting, fell nearly 1% after Moody's late Monday downgraded 12 Australian banks due to worries about heavy household borrowings in real estate.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 19, 2017 23:11 ET (03:11 GMT)