Photographer: China Photos/Getty Images

Asian Stocks Rise as Investor Focus Returns to Regional Markets

  • SoftBank Group’s rise to 17-year high helps boost Topix index
  • Kospi advances to record high amid a rally in brokerage stocks

Asian stocks rose, touching a fresh two-year high, as investors focused on regional issues in the wake of a benign reaction to recent geopolitical events.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent to 155.34 as of 12:12 p.m. in Hong Kong, led by technology and telecommunication shares. Testimony from former Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey failed to spark a reaction by U.S. investors as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index both ended the session little changed. Expectations of a hung parliament in the U.K. also had a muted reaction on Asian markets, which instead focused on domestic news.

SoftBank Group Corp. reached its highest level since May 2000 after being upgraded to buy at Mizuho and agreeing to acquire Boston Dynamics from Alphabet. South Korea’s Kospi hit a record amid foreign buying interest, sparking a rally in brokerages.

“The near neutral moves in U.S. markets following former FBI director James
Comey’s testimony provided little inspiration for Asian markets,” said Jingyi Pan, a Singapore-based analyst at IG Asia Pte Ltd. “Meanwhile reactions towards the U.K. exit poll upset has largely been shrugged off by Asian markets this morning.”

Summary

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 +0.2%
  • Topix +0.2%; Nikkei 225 +0.6%
    • Yen 0.2% weaker at 110.29
  • Taiwan’s Taiex little changed, Kospi +0.8%
  • Hong Kong Hang Seng Index -0.3%; HSCEI -0.7%; Shanghai Composite +0.1%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.4%; Philippine Stock Exchange Index +0.5%; FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index +0.2%, Vietnam’s VN Index +0.2%, Jakarta Composite Index -0.2%

— With assistance by Vivek Shankar

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