Asia gains after disaster Wednesday session

Asian stocks closed higher on Thursday, with markets shaking off some of the trade jitters seen overnight after the Trump administration announced a list of Chinese goods that may be subject to new tariffs.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 regained 255.75 points, or 1.2%, to 22,187.96, nearly reversing its declines from the previous session with some support coming from the weaker yen. The fishery and forest sub-index led gains, rising 2.6%, while pharmaceuticals and telecommunications also recorded significant moves higher.

Against the yen, the U.S. dollar traded at 112.25 after crossing the 112 level for the first time in around six months overnight.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 169.14 points, or 0.6%, to 28,480.83, with property, financials, services and utilities stocks rising more than 1% before the market close.

In individual movers, shares of ZTE jumped 22.1% in Hong Kong while Shanghai shares closed up 10%. The moves came on the back of news that the telecommunications equipment maker was set to resume business after signing an agreement with the U.S.

Korea gained narrowly. Technology was a mixed bag, with Samsung Electronics down 1.1%, while automakers climbed.

Most sectors rose in Australia, with health-care leading gains, but the energy subindex slid.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 picked up 73.53 points, or 2.2%, to 3,481.06

Of note, the yuan slipped below the 6.7 level Thursday morning amid the focus on trade before recovering some losses later. The on-shore yuan last traded at 6.6762 to the dollar, with China's central bank having fixed the daily midpoint at 6.6726 per dollar before the market open.

That was the weakest official fixing since Aug. 18, 2017.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained back 3.93 points, or 0.1%, to 3,253.01

In Taiwan, the Taiex index recovered 61.54 points, or 0.6%, to 10,738.38

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 4.44 points, or 0.2%, to 2,285.06

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 fell 15.92 points, or 0.2%, to 8,985.47

In Australia, the ASX 200 recouped 52.71 points, or 0.9%, to 6,268.31