Japan Finally Ends Slide, Much of Asia Perks

Asian equities shrugged off the softer lead from Wall Street to close higher on Thursday as oil eked out slight gains during Asian trade.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ended a six-session losing streak with gusto, climbing 322.80 points, or 1.5%, to 22,351.12, as financials, retailers and most tech names rose.

The Hang Seng Index regained 167.07 points, or 0.6%, to 29,018.76

In Japan, Fast Retailing closed up 1.4%, Nintendo gained 4% and SoftBank advanced 2.2% on the day. Energy-related plays traded mixed.

In Korea, where trading hours had been pushed back by an hour on Thursday, blue-chip tech names and manufacturing stocks were mostly higher, with Samsung Electronics advancing 0.9% Energy-related stocks also climbed as refinery company S-Oil rose 2.1%.

Down Under, markets edged up with the heavily-weighted banking sub-index climbing 0.1% in the session. The energy sub-index jumped 1.9% on the day after taking a beating earlier in the week following the declines in oil prices.

Fairfax's real estate classifieds unit, Domain, began to trade on the Australian Securities Exchange on Thursday under the "DHG" ticker. The unit had been spun off from Fairfax after shareholders voted for the move earlier this month. Fairfax shares closed up 7.7% after tumbling more than 30% in early trade.

Shares of Santos popped, rising 13% by the end of the session. The company said it had rejected a takeover bid from Harbour Energy in August and had not received a current proposal. The company's announcement came after the Australian Financial Review reported earlier in the day that the oil and gas company was the target of a proposed 11-billion-Australian-dollar ($8.34 billion U.S.) takeover.

Elsewhere, Yixin Group, a Tencent-backed online platform for car sales, made its debut in Hong Kong on Thursday. Shares were priced at HK$7.70 ($0.98 U.S.) apiece — the top end of the price range — and the IPO is expected to raise around HK$6.5 billion ($833 million U.S.), the company said in a filing. Yixin shares were up 6.8%, after spiking some 30% at their open.

The U.S. dollar, meanwhile, was firmer against the Japanese currency, with the dollar last trading at 113.05 yen.

The Australian dollar got a boost after a Thursday data release showed employment increased for the 13th consecutive month in October.

The currency traded at $0.7593 U.S. late Thursday afternoon after touching as high as $0.7609 earlier in the session. The Aussie dollar had fallen as low as $0.7570 U.S. in the last session following the release of weak wage data.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 recovered 31.34 points, or 0.8%, to 4,105.01

Meanwhile, Tencent reported net profit rose by 69% to 18 billion yuan ($2.72 billion U.S.) for the quarter that ended in September, easily beating the average 15.18 billion yuan forecast by analysts. The Chinese internet company said its revenue increased 61 percent to 65.2 billion yuan. Tencent shares rose 2.2% following the beat in earnings.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index jumped 16.54 points, or 0.7%, to 2,534.79

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index slumped 5.61 points, or 0.1%, to 10,625.04

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 27.4 points, or 0.8%, to 3,341.30

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 strengthened 34.76 points, or 0.4%, to 8,034.70

In Australia, the ASX 200 regrouped 9.28 points, or 0.2%, to 5,943.51