Asia Reverses Losses as U.S. Dollar Gains

Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday, as the Hang Seng Index and Nikkei 225 recouped some losses after falling around 2% on Wednesday. Stateside, major indexes closed narrowly mixed as investors awaited tax reform developments.

The Nikkei 225 index’s recovered from big losses Thursday, with a gain of 320.99 points, or 1.5%, to 22,498.03.

Gains were seen across sectors, with automakers, tech and trading houses all climbing higher. Energy-related plays were mixed.

The Hang Seng Index added 78.39 points, or 0.3%, to 28,303.19. Tech shares, however, continued to struggle — although Tencent added 3.2%

Korean stocks slid, with gains in some tech heavyweights offset by losses in the manufacturing and oil sectors. Blue-chip Samsung Electronics closed up 1.4% while steelmakers Posco and Hyundai Steel edged down 0.2% and 2% respectively, by the end of the day.

Australian stocks advanced. The heavily-weighted financials sub-index gained 0.8% as Australia's "Big Four" banks recorded gains on the day: ANZ tacked on 0.9% and Westpac closed up 1.3%. Major miners were mixed.

The U.S. dollar was firmer against the yen, with the greenback last fetching 112.56 compared to Wednesday's close of 112.27.

The Australian dollar fell after the country's trade surplus for October came in at A$105 million — sharply below the A$1.38 billion forecast.

The Aussie dollar traded at $0.7535 U.S. late afternoon after falling as low as $0.7530 U.S. in the session and closing at $0.7562 on Wednesday.

The Australian Securities Exchange said in a Thursday statement it intended to replace its existing clearing and settlement system with distributed ledger technology, or blockchain. The new system will be open to market feedback at the end of March 2018, the ASX said.

Elsewhere, Walgreens Boots Alliance on Wednesday said it would acquire 40% of Sinopharm Holding Guoda Drugstores, a Chinese retail pharmacy operator. Walgreens said it would buy the stake for 2.77 billion yuan ($416 million U.S.) from China National Accord Medicines Corporation.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 44.76 points, or 1.1%, to 3,971.06

In Korea, the Kospi index dropped 12.39 points, or 0.5%, to 2,461.98

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index lost 38.16 points, or 0.4%, to 10,355.76

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index fell 9.07 points, or 0.3%, to 3,388.14

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 41.74 points, or 0.5%, to 8,172.60

In Australia, the ASX 200 regained 32.02 points, or 0.5%, to 5,977.72