ASIA MARKETS: Asian Markets Rebound, Shrugging Off North Korea Tensions

Nikkei aided by exporters and a declining yen

Asia-Pacific stocks rebounded Wednesday after selling off a day earlier following North Korea's latest missile launch, as equities in the U.S. recovered as well.

The return to risk assets came despite a stern response from President Donald Trump. His insistence that all options are on table "should have escalated the risk-off" sentiment seen Tuesday, said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street.

Instead, investors seemed to shrug off the geopolitical tension.

Japanese stocks helped lead the way, aided by a near-1% gain in the U.S. dollar versus the yen since the end of stock trading Tuesday. The dollar moved back to Yen109.80 after bottoming out yesterday at around Yen108.33, not far from the low for the year.

The Nikkei was recently up 0.6%, helped by exporters. Auto makers Mitsubishi Motors (7211.TO) and Mazda (7261.TO) were up 1% each and electronics giant Sony (6758.TO) added 2.3%.

While Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.96% and Taiwan's Taiex rose 0.5%, gains were more muted elsewhere, with New Zealand's benchmark up 0.2% after dropping 1.1% Tuesday.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia and South Korea were slightly higher. On Tuesday, the Kospi closed down 0.2% after being as much as 1.6% lower earlier in the day.

U.S. economic data showing that growth remains steady and consumer sentiment is upbeat also helped fuel rebounds for stocks in Asia, said Masashi Murata, currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

"The fundamentals remain unchanged so the bounce back has been easier," he added.

The dollar also rebounded overnight and it was little changed in Asian trading on Wednesday morning, according to the WSJ Dollar Index.

Elsewhere, gold maintained its fresh 11-month highs. Oil futures were down slightly in Asia as tropical storm Harvey continued to hamper refinery operations in Texas.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 29, 2017 23:20 ET (03:20 GMT)