Asian Markets Lower, Japan Rebounds

asian market down 25dec18

Asian stock markets, with the exception of Japan, are lower on Wednesday amid worries about political uncertainty in the U.S. following a partial government shutdown that now looks set to extend into the New Year, and on mounting concerns about global economic growth. Most of the Asian markets were shut for the Christmas Day holiday on Tuesday.

The Japanese market is notably higher, rebounding from sharp losses in the previous session on Christmas Day. Exporters' shares are advancing on a weaker yen.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is rising 306.44 points or 1.60 percent to 19,462.18, after touching a high of 19,530.35 earlier. Japanese shares fell over 5 percent to a 20-month low on Tuesday amid global economic fears and political uncertainty in the U.S.

The major exporters are mostly higher. Panasonic is gaining more than 2 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 2 percent and Sony is higher by more than 1 percent, while Canon is declining more than 1 percent.

In the tech sector, Advantest is lower by 0.2 percent and Tokyo Electron is gaining almost 3 percent. Among the major automakers, Honda is advancing almost 2 percent and Toyota is adding more than 1 percent.

Nissan Motor's former representative Greg Kelly has been granted bail by a court in Tokyo, over more than a month after he was arrested along with ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on suspicion of understating Ghosn's income for several years in financial statements. Nissan's shares are rising more than 3 percent.

In the banking sector, Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial are higher by almost 1 percent each. In the oil space, Inpex is adding 0.4 percent and Japan Petroleum is up 0.7 percent.

Among the other major gainers, Olympus Corp. is rising 6 percent and Toho Co. is gaining more than 4 percent. Toto, Konami Holdings, Terumo Corp. and Maruha Nichiro are all higher by almost 4 percent each.

On the flip side, Nisshin Steel is losing almost 6 percent.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 110 yen-range on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia are all lower by more than 1 percent each, while Shanghai and Indonesia are modestly lower. Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong are closed for public holidays.

Overnight, U.S.and European markets were closed for the Christmas Day holidays.

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