Share prices were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday despite Wall Street's extended winning streak. Chinese shares were buoyed by surging oil prices.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 0.1 percent to 23,816.31 and the Kospi in South Korea lost 0.3 percent to 2,502.72. Australia's S&P ASX 200 slipped 0.5 percent to 6,104.80. But the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 0.7 percent to 31,230.37 and the Shanghai Composite index added 0.4 percent to 3,425.84. Shares fell in Taiwan and were mixed in Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET: Stocks pushed further into record territory Tuesday, with health care stocks and banks leading the gains. The S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent to 2,751.29 to equal its longest winning streak leading off a year since 2010. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4 percent to 25,385.80 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.1 percent to 7,163.58. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks slipped 0.1 percent to 1,560.10.
OIL RALLY: Gains in oil prices helped lift energy sector heavyweights in Hong Kong. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. gained 2.8 percent while PetroChina added 1.9 percent and China Shenhua climbed 2.1 percent.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "The slew of positive factors creates a breeding ground for optimism as we find the U.S. market sustaining on the climb. The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and NASDAQ indices brought us fresh highs once again on Tuesday, though the carry through to Asian markets may be limited by caution ahead," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.
CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 112.29 Japanese yen from 112.65 yen late Tuesday. The euro rose to $1.1942 from $1.1938, and the British pound dipped to $1.3534 from $1.3540.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 50 cents to $63.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.23 to settle at $62.96 per barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 37 cents to $69.19 per barrel. It rose $1.04 to settle at $68.82 per barrel in London.