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After some initial sluggishness, Asia-Pacific stocks generally improved as Wednesday’s trading day progressed. But there were no blowout gains occurring, with nearly all rising indexes up no more than 0.5% and many seeing advances of 0.2% of less.

The overnight bounce in the U.S. helped, along with earnings news both local and overseas, including Apple’s












AAPL, +0.20%










  strong earnings report.

Japan’s Nikkei












NIK, +0.86%










  rose 0.5% a day after the Bank of Japan maintained its ultraloose monetary policy. Honda












7267, +2.95%










  shares jumped after reporting an 11% increase in first-quarter operating profit, which took most analysts by surprise. The news drove gains across much of the sector, along with a weaker yen. Toyota












7203, +1.29%










 , which reports earnings Friday, was up 1%.

South Korea’s Kospi












SEU, +0.51%










  rose 0.4% although Apple suppliers such as Samsung












005930, +0.65%










  and LG Innotek












011070, -0.31%










  gave up some of their early gains. Taiwan’s Taiex












Y9999, +0.37%










  rose as Apple manufacturer Foxconn












2354, +1.71%










  gained more than 1%.

Stocks in China retreated amid a report that President Donald Trump’s advisers are urging 25% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. The Shanghai Composite












SHCOMP, -1.80%










  slid 0.3% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite












399106, -1.72%










  fell about as much. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index












HSI, -1.16%










  dipped 0.2%, as Apple supplier Sunny Optical












2382, -2.32%










  gave up almost all of its post-Apple-earnings bounce.

Australia’s benchmark index












XJO, -0.07%










  overcame early losses to eke into positive territory amid weakness in commodity stocks. Oil Search Limited












OSH, +0.56%










  was down 0.4% while mining giant BHP Billiton












BHP, +0.63%










  gained about 1%. Stocks in New Zealand












NZ50GR, -0.70%










  fell.

Malaysia’s benchmark












FBMKLCI, +0.02%










  was down slightly after having risen 16 of the past 17 days, while Singapore’s Strait Times Index












STI, +0.24%










  was up slightly.

Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.

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