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
strong earnings report.
rose 0.5% a day after the Bank of Japan maintained its ultraloose monetary policy. Honda
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
, which reports earnings Friday, was up 1%.
South Korea’s Kospi
rose 0.4% although Apple suppliers such as Samsung
and LG Innotek
gave up some of their early gains. Taiwan’s Taiex
rose as Apple manufacturer Foxconn
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
slid 0.3% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
fell about as much. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
dipped 0.2%, as Apple supplier Sunny Optical
gave up almost all of its post-Apple-earnings bounce.
Australia’s benchmark index
overcame early losses to eke into positive territory amid weakness in commodity stocks. Oil Search Limited
was down 0.4% while mining giant BHP Billiton
gained about 1%. Stocks in New Zealand
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