ASIA MARKETS: Asian Markets Turn Higher After Trump's State Of The Union Speech

By Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

Stocks reverse early declines after mostly conciliatory speech

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Asia-Pacific shares broadly turned around early declines as President Donald Trump struck a mostly conciliatory tone in his first State of the Union address.

After some of the biggest declines in several months Tuesday, indexes in Australia , Hong Kong and South Korea turned higher, gaining as much as much as 0.5%.

"It is not a market-upsetting speech; rather a motherhood and apple pie in the great American tradition," said Rob Carnell, head of research for Asia-Pacific at Dutch bank ING.

He noted there was no major criticism of Russia and China while details on infrastructure spending were thin. Elaborating on the latter could have pushed bond yields higher still, playing into recent market nervousness.

Trump mostly stayed away from surprises and signaled a willingness to work across party lines.

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S&P 500 futures were recently up 0.3%.

New Zealand's NZX 50 saw the biggest gain and finished up 1.7% thanks to a 55-point spike at the close, which saw the index rise 0.5% for the month. It's the 13th straight monthly gain for an index that jumped 22% in 2017, the best year since 2012.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended morning trading up 0.4% after falling as much as 0.8% earlier. On Monday and Tuesday, it recorded its first consecutive days of declines since mid-December.

Chinese equities fell early amid the expiration of futures contracts Wednesday and a decline to eight-month lows for a key manufacturing reading for January.

But the market rebounded. The Shanghai Composite finishing morning trading up 0.2% and the large-cap CSI 300 rebounded 0.7%.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei was slightly higher in the early afternoon while the dollar broadly remained little changed throughout morning Asian trading.

And oil futures extended this week's pullback, falling nearly 1% further in Asia following a U.S. industry group saying domestic crude supplies rose nearly double the amount expected to be shown in Wednesday's government release.

Energy stocks in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia were down roughly 1.5%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 30, 2018 23:39 ET (04:39 GMT)