Asia up as Cyprus concerns ease

Most Asian markets on Tuesday gained as fears about the euro zone subsided, with Japan recovering strongly due to a weaker yen and Australia falling following the latest Reserve Bank of Australia minutes.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index regained 247.60 points, or 2%, to 12,468.23, following Monday’s hefty losses.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index skidded another 41.50 points, or 0.2%, to 22,041.86, after a loss of more than 400 points Monday.

But a notable mover in Hong Kong was Samsonite International, which jumped 4.6% after the market welcomed the luggage company’s latest set of earnings.

Regional stocks were the first to respond on Monday to news over the weekend that Cyprus planned to impose a tax on its depositors to lessen the cost of rescuing its financial system.

The U.S. dollar rose against the yen, recovering completely from Monday’s losses, and was at 95.38 late in Asia compared with 95.21 late Monday in New York.

The euro was stable for most of the Asian session, though it dipped as the day progressed to $1.2922 U.S., compared with $1.2956 U.S. late Monday in New York. The single currency remained well above its lowest level since Dec. 10 at $1.288 U.S., touched during the previous session.

The next event on the horizon for the yen is the Bank of Japan’s April policy meeting, where expectations are high that the central bank’s new leadership team will implement a more aggressive monetary policy.

The U.S. dollar’s recovery against the yen translated into a rebound for Japanese stocks. The market was hit particularly hard on Monday when it fell 2.7%, its biggest percentage decline in 10 months.

Large constituents in the Nikkei that dipped in the previous session recovered on Tuesday. Exporters also recovered, supported by the weaker yen. Fast Retailing, the company behind the Uniqlo chain of shops, added 2.8% and Canon rose 3.1%.

Australian stocks started the day higher, but their recovery ground to a halt after minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s March 5 policy meeting were published. Although the central bank said that a further cut in rates could be required, the minutes were taken as a sign that the central bank is unlikely to cut interest rates.

In other markets

The Shanghai CSI 300 Composite 300 index tacked on 22.60 points, or 0.9%, to 2,525.10

In Korea, the Kospi Index added 10.38 points, or 0.5%, to 1,978.56

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index took on 27.13 points, or 0.4%, to 7,838.47

The Singapore Straits Times Index recovered 12.66 points, or 0.4%, to 3,269.13

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index inched up 4.02 points, or 0.1%, to 4,345.04

In Australia, the S&P/ASX fell 28 points, or 0.6%, to 4,987.40