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Asia report: Technology names lead region higher on Tuesday

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 19 Oct 2021

Asia report: Technology names lead region higher on Tuesday

(Sharecast News) - Markets in Asia were on the front foot at the end of the day on Tuesday, with technology plays leading the charge, although Australia's bourse was weaker after the release of the Reserve Bank's latest minutes.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.65% at 29,215.52, as the yen strengthened 0.17% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 114.13.

Of the benchmark's major components, robotics specialist Fanuc was up 1.61%, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing added 2.11%, and technology giant SoftBank Group jumped 3.06%.

The broader Topix index was ahead 0.36% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing at 2,026.57.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.7% at 3,593.15, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite was 0.86% firmer at 2,422.64.

South Korea's Kospi was 0.74% higher at 3,029.04, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong gained 1.49% to 25,787.21.

Technology companies were on the right side of the ledger in the special administrative region, with Alibaba up 1.3% and Meituan 1.8% firmer.

The blue-chip tech names were also higher in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics up 0.57% and SK Hynix rising 0.62%.

Oil prices were higher as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last up 0.83% at $85.03 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate advancing 1.27% to $83.49.

"Yesterday's disappointing China GDP numbers may well have been the perfect excuse for a bit of a pullback, however, the numbers can't have been too much of a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to recent events in the world's second largest economy these past weeks," said CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

"Apple's share price also finished strongly last night after announcing a series of new upgrades for its laptops, as well as new upgraded AirPods with a higher price tag, at its latest online unveiling yesterday evening.

"Today's Asia session has seen stocks rebound and this looks set to translate into modest rebound for European markets this morning, after yesterday's pullback."

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.08% to 7,374.90, as investors in the sunburnt country sifted through the latest central bank minutes.

Policymakers at the Reserve Bank of Australia said at their October meeting that they were expecting the country's economy to "return to growth in the December quarter", and to its "pre-Delta path", or the trajectory it was on before the current wave of Covid-19 infections, in the second half of next year.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was 0.52% higher at 13,065.92, with medical technology company Fisher & Paykel Healthcare up 1.83% and fibre network Chorus 1.02% firmer.

The down under dollars were both stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.75% at AUD 1.3391 and the Kiwi advancing 0.91% to NZD 1.3985.

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