HONG KONG: Tokyo led a rally in Asian shares Wednesday, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street that saw the Nasdaq close at a fresh record.
The gains, after a muted start to the week in Asia, came on the back of solid US economic data, and were augmented by rising oil prices and a series of strong earnings reports that combined to provide a positive outlook for global growth, reports AFP.
Data releases showed US consumer confidence hit a 17-year high in October, just as congressional Republicans prepare to unveil President Donald Trump's long-anticipated tax cut plan, which allows for about $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. Meanwhile oil prices rose to a two-year high, as OPEC members honoured pledges to curb supply and exports from northern Iraq fell.
And Asia has witnessed an impressive profit reporting season, with Sony the latest tech giant to announce it was expecting record annual profits.
Sony surged 11.6 percent at one point Wednesday, with strong results attributed to its PlayStation games division and a booming smartphone parts business, as well as a hit with the newest Spider-Man movie. Tokyo was trading up 1.4 percent at the lunch break, with technology shares soaring as exporters benefited from a weak yen. Japan's central bank announced Tuesday it would keep its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged, even though overseas counterparts have started turning off the stimulus taps.
Honda and ANA were due to release first-half results Wednesday.
Hong Kong was trading up 0.6 percent, and Shanghai 0.2 percent, as new numbers showed Chinese factory activity stabilised in October.
In South Korea, where Samsung Electronics logged a record profit of $10.0 billion for the third quarter and announced a sweeping reshuffle of its top management on Tuesday, the Kospi index rose 1.0 percent, despite data showing October exports rising by less than expected.