Asia Markets Pare Losses

Asia-Pacific markets recovered slightly from earlier losses in afternoon trade, as investors continue to monitor coronavirus developments. Russia claimed to have developed the first vaccine in the world, while the U.S. was in a stalemate over virus aid talks.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 93.72 points, or 0.4%, to 22,843.06.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.78 per U.S. dollar, weakening from levels above 105 in the last few days.

Softbank shares fell 2.7% after posting a $12-billion U.S. quarterly profit on Tuesday. The return to profit came after the company reported historic losses of $13 billion for its last fiscal year.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng popped 353.34 points, or 1.4%, to 25,244.02.

In New Zealand, the central bank held the cash rate at 0.25% on Wednesday. It comes as the country increases restrictions again in Auckland as cases of local transmission were detected in the city after being virus-free for 102 days.

Gold miners in Australia declined throughout the morning, with Evolution Mining falling 5.3%, and Kingsgate Consolidated dropping 8.7%.

In other markets

The CSI 300 lost 34.14 points, or 0.7%, to 4,647.64.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index regained 19.05 points, or 0.8%, to 2.563.20.

In Korea, the Kospi gained 13.68 points, or 0.6%, to 2,432.35

In Taiwan, the Taiex index dropped 109.84 points, or 0.9%, to 12,670.35

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 tumbled 153.4 points, or 1.3%, to 11,491.91

In Australia, the ASX 200 slumped 6.6 points, or 0.1%, to 6,132.05.