Asian Stocks Rise, Fuelled by Wall Street

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Asian stocks started higher Tuesday, spurred by fresh record highs for U.S. equities overnight.

The Wall Street advance came as voting began to end a three-day federal-government shutdown. The Senate and the House of Representatives subsequently passed a bill to fund the government for about three weeks after U.S. stock trading ended.

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Major stock indexes in Australia, Japan and South Korea were slightly more than 0.5% higher in morning trading.

Gains for the S&P/ASX 200 follow a week of declines that put the index back at early-December levels. In Seoul the Kospi rose as index heavyweight Samsung Electronics reversed some of Monday's 2% drop.

The Nikkei Stock Average rose, led by consumer durable goods and health-care stocks ahead of the Bank of Japan's first policy statement of 2018. The central bank isn't expected to change its stance, but markets will be watching for any hawkish language after the BOJ earlier this month trimmed the pace of its purchases of some Japanese government bonds.

"We continue to believe that the BOJ will see little reason to change the current easing framework immediately," said Société Générale analysts. They added the slowdown in bond buying was unlikely to have any policy implications.

Graphite developer Tokai Carbon climbed 3.2%, putting the month's surge at 19%, while Mitsubishi Motors rose 1.7%.

The yen was last Yen110.93 against the U.S. dollar, unchanged compared with Monday's close in New York and a bit above Yen110.79 when Japanese stock trading ended Monday.

Markets in Asia have so far shrugged off news that the U.S. will impose import tariffs on washing machines and solar panels. The biggest exchange-traded fund tracking emerging market stocks, the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF, rose 0.6% Monday.

Write to Gregor Stuart Hunter at greg.hunter@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 22, 2018 21:11 ET (02:11 GMT)

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