Asia Higher, Powered by China Shares

Asian stocks closed higher on Thursday, with shares in Greater China leading gains after the positive momentum seen on Wall Street overnight.

The Nikkei 225 gained another 213.44 points, or 1%, on top of Wednesday’s 400-plunge hike, to 21,816.19.

The Japanese yen gave up earlier gains against the U.S. dollar to 113.41 from yesterday’s 113.27.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index spiked 337.64 points, or 1.3%, to 26,524.35

There were big moves in the Australia market. Shares of Hutchison Telecommunications plunged 21.4% at the close, while TPG Telecom fell by 16.7%. The two companies announced plans to merge in August this year, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Thursday released a statement expressing concerns about the proposal.

Weakness in the U.S. dollar benefited the Australian dollar, which advanced to $0.7244 from yesterday’s $0.7219.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 49.08 points, or 1.6%, to 3,219.69

The Wall Street Journal reported Beijing is working to increase access to foreign companies, a move aimed at smoothing U.S.-China trade relations. The plan would replace the country’s Made in China 2025 initiative, the report said.

Made in China 2025 is a framework aimed at making China a leader in industries like clean-energy cars and robotics, and has been a point of contention in the tariff fight between Washington and Beijing.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex index gained 42.31 points, or 0.4%, to 9,858.76

In Korea, the Kospi index recovered 12.98 points, or 0.6%, at 2,095.55

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index added 11.09 points, or 0.4%, to 3,111.08

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 spiked 54.81 points, or 0.6%, to 8,793.17

In Australia, the ASX 200 squeezed higher 8.11 points, or 0.1%, to 5,661.61