Hang Seng at 10-Yr. High

Asian indexes closed mostly higher in the first trading session of the New Year as markets shrugged off the softer lead from Wall Street.

Greater China markets shone, with Hong Kong's benchmark index climbing to its highest levels in more than 10 years in the session while the dollar struggled near its lowest levels in three months.

Markets in Japan and New Zealand remained shuttered for the New Year’s long weekend.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong celebrated by jumping 596.16 points, or 2%, to 30,515.31, earlier touching its highest levels since 2007. Technology, banking and property shares led the index higher. Apple suppliers Sunny Optical and AAC Technologies rose 9.2% and 7%, respectively

Among real estate plays, Sunac rose 11.4%, Country Garden advanced 8.1%, and China Evergrande Group added 4.6%.

The move higher on Tuesday followed news last week that Chinese regulators would start a program that lets Hong Kong-listed, mainland-incorporated firms turn non-tradable equity into tradable shares. The Hang Seng had outperformed other major Asian markets in 2017, rising 36% in the past year alone.

Gains in the telecommunications and resources sectors were offset by declines in the health care and heavily-weighted financials sub-indexes, which closed lower by 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively.

Gold producer stocks rose 1.2% as the yellow metal traded at three-month highs. Kingsgate rose 5% and Newcrest added 1.1% by the end of the day.

Elsewhere, South Korean markets carved out slight gains following geopolitical developments regarding North Korea in the past week. The benchmark Kospi index gained as technology stocks mostly gained while automakers fell. Heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix inched higher by 0.1% each, while Hyundai Motor declined 4.2% on the day.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had declared his country a nuclear power during his New Year's Day address on Monday, but also acknowledged that he was "open to dialogue" with the South, Reuters reported. Last week, South Korea seized a second vessels suspected of violating sanctions by smuggling oil to North Korea.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 picked up 56.55 points, or 1.4%, to 4,087.40. Financials and energy were among the top-performers on the day.

The Caixin manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, which focuses on activity at smaller businesses, for December released Tuesday came in at 51.5, topping the 50.6 figure forecast by experts. The strong showing, which touched a four-month high, was attributed to solid output and new orders.

The official manufacturing PMI released last week had come in at 51.6 for the month of December, meeting analyst expectations
In other markets

The Kospi in Korea gained 12.16 points to 2,479.65

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index hiked 67.87 points, or 0.6%, to 10,710.73

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index added 27.38 points, or 0.8%, to 3,430.30

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 3.85 points, or 0.1%, to 6,061.28