Asia stocks broadly gain as a poll forecasts yuan recovery

  • According to a Reuters poll, analysts expect the Chinese yuan to recover from some of its recent losses against the greenback over the next year on hopes that U.S.-China trade tensions and risks in emerging markets will ease.
  • "Potentially in a year's time (we) could see a ... cooling down of the red hot U.S. growth and that could undermine the dollar strength we are seeing right now," Sim Moh Siong, a currency strategist at the Bank of Singapore told CNBC.

Stocks in Asia saw broad gains on Wednesday.

Australia's ASX 200 gained 0.14 percent to close at 6,049.8, with most sectors higher.

Shares of the country's largest private education company Navitas ended the trading day higher by 21.84 percent after the company earlier announced it had received a 1.97 billion Australian dollar ($1.4 billion) buyout offer from a consortium.

"Navitas has been going sideways and as a result the share price hasn't gone anywhere," Morningstar analyst Gareth James told Reuters. "A private equity firm can come in and change the strategy, make it growth-orientated, possibly do some M&A and bring it back to the market in a couple of years."

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 bounced back to close higher by 0.16 percent at 23,506.04 after being in largely flat territory earlier, while the Topix also ended the trading day up by 0.16 percent at 1,763.86, with most sectors seeing gains.

Earlier in the day, data showed that core machinery orders in Japan rose above expectations in August, suggesting possible growth in capital expenditure.

In the Greater China region, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong saw a slight gain to close at 26,193.07.

Over on the mainland, the Shanghai composite saw a rebound, advancing by 0.18 percent to close at around 2,725.84. The Shenzhen composite, on the other hand, declined by 0.147 percent to end the trading day at about 1,383.05.

South Korea's Kospi also closed lower, slipping by 1.12 percent at 2,228.61.

Poll finds forecast of yuan recovery

According to a Reuters poll, analysts expect the Chinese yuan to recover from some of its recent losses against the greenback over the next year on hopes that U.S.-China trade tensions and risks in emerging markets will ease.

A "temporary truce" between the U.S. and China is possible, Sim Moh Siong, a currency strategist at the Bank of Singapore, told CNBC Wednesday. That could pave the way for a stabilization in the renminbi and "perhaps a bit of strengthening," he said commenting on the poll.

"Potentially in a year's time (we) could see a ... cooling down of the red hot U.S. growth and that could undermine the dollar strength we are seeing right now," he said.

As of 4:05 p.m. HK/SIN, the onshore Chinese yuan was at 6.9185 against the dollar while the offshore yuan traded at 6.921. The People's Bank of China had earlier set the midpoint for onshore trade at 6.9072 for the day.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Trump voices displeasure with Fed interest rate policy

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he did not like the Federal Reserve's decision to continue hiking interest rates.

The U.S. central bank last raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point in September, while raising its expectations for economic growth for this year and next.

"What's happening in the U.S. is very different than what's happening abroad. We have this sort of dissonance where the U.S. is now at a point in time where growth is accelerating and the Fed feels like it's chasing that growth upward and in fact, every forecast it has it keeps marking up the forecast on growth," Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told CNBC on Wednesday morning.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 95.682 as of 4:06 p.m. HK/SIN, still off its highs above yesterday's 96.0 mark.

At the same time, the Japanese yen traded at 113.08 against the dollar, while the Australian dollar pared some of its earlier gains but remained higher at $0.7109 following an overnight rally.

In oil markets, prices remained lower in afternoon trade in Asia. As of 4:08 p.m. HK/SIN, the global benchmark Brent crude futures contract declined by 0.26 percent to $84.78 per barrel, while the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures contract saw a partial recovery from its earlier losses but remained lower by 0.28 percent at $74.75 per barrel.

— CNBC's Thomas Franck and Reuters contributed to this report.