Asian Stocks Touch Heights Not Seen in Decades

A broad index of Asian shares touched a decade-high on Wednesday, taking cues from signs of confidence in the U.S. Meanwhile, the euro held onto overnight gains after Catalonia held back on an outright declaration of independence.

The Nikkei 225 index gained 57.76 points, or 0.3%, to 20,881.27, a two-decade high

The Hang Seng Index dropped 101.26 points, or 0.4%, to 28.389.57

During the morning, the MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index touched its highest levels since 2007 as major indexes across the region recorded gains, trading 0.33% higher for the day.

Blue-chip automakers were pressured, but most tech names held above the flat line: Toyota fell 1%, Mazda Motor sank 2% and Softbank Group finished the session 0.4% higher.

Core machinery orders for August released Tuesday showed a 3.4% rise compared to one month ago. That far surpassed the 1.1% increase median forecast in a recent survey.

Korean markets came back from holiday to gain big, as big name tech plays held onto significant gains made in the previous session.

Samsung Electronics rose 3.5% and SK Hynix closed up 0.5% after surging in the previous session on investor expectations over upcoming quarterly results.

Australian markets picked up as the information technology sub-index led gains, climbing 1.9% in the session, while bank and energy stocks also rose.

In individual stocks, shares of Kobe Steel plummeted to close down 17.8%, extending losses made in the previous session when its stock closed down 21.9% The company had earlier admitted to falsifying data about the quality of its products.

Also in Japan, Sanrio stock closed 9.7% lower after the company revised down its forecast for full-year results for the year ending March 2018. The company is most known for being the owner of the Hello Kitty brand.

Great Wall Motor stock traded in Hong Kong spiked more than 14% in the session following a report in local media that the automaker would be involved in a joint venture with BMW

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 was up 12.83 points, or 0.3%, to 3,902.69

The Chinese yuan was in focus after it surged to its highest levels in almost three weeks in the previous session. On Wednesday, the on-shore yuan traded at 6.5766 to the U.S. dollar late afternoon local time while the offshore yuan was a tad firmer at 6.5737.

Ahead of Wednesday trade, the People's Bank of China had fixed the yuan midpoint at 6.5841 per dollar, its highest in three weeks

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index gained 39.34 points, or 1.6%, to 2,433.81

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index returned to business after a public holiday, spiking 108.38 points, or 1%, to 10,641.19

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 8.67 points, or 0.3%, to 3,280.28

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 23.17 points, or 0.3%, to 8,060.98

In Australia, the ASX 200 regained 34.03 points, or 0.6%, to 5,772.15