Investing.com– Most Asian stocks rose slightly on Tuesday ahead of key U.S. inflation data, while those in Japan hit a 34-year high on positive earnings from the technology sector and to accommodative signals from the Bank of Japan.
Regional stocks have taken a mixed lead from Wall Street, as gains in U.S. stocks now appear to be running out of steam following last week’s record high. , and the futures contracts all fell about 0.1% each in Asian trading on Tuesday.
Week-long public holidays in China and Hong Kong kept Asian trading volumes relatively low and also led to a shortage of regional indexes.
Nikkei 225 index hits 34-year high on tech profits, dovish BOJ says
The Nikkei 225 index was a major exception among its regional peers, rising 2.5% to a 34-year high on strength in major technology stocks following positive earnings from the chipmaker. Tokyo Electronics Ltd. (TYO:) and the investment house SoftBank Group Corp. (TYO:).
Tokyo Electron jumped almost 11% to a three-year high after posting a stronger profit for the December quarter and also reported growing demand in China.
SoftBank jumped 6.7% to a nearly three-year high, extending its gains after posting its first profitable quarter in five years. The stock also followed overnight gains at its chipmaking unit. Arm Holdings (NASDAQ:), whose U.S. shares jumped 29% Monday amid continued hype over its prospects in an artificial intelligence boom.
The gains made in the two technology majors have rippled through the sector as a whole. Japanese stocks also posted extended gains after Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Shinichi Uchida said that while the BOJ would raise interest rates this year, it would likely do so at a slow pace, announcing the maintenance of accommodating monetary conditions for local equities.
The prospect of relatively low Japanese interest rates, following a series of dovish signals from the BoJ, has been a key driver of the Nikkei’s dramatic gains over the past two years.
AI-enabled advances in the chipmaking sector have spurred strength in other Asian markets. That of South Korea increased by 1%, supported mainly by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KS:) and SK Hynix Inc. (KS:).
SK Hynix jumped nearly 4% after South Korean media reported that the company had teamed up with Taiwanese company TSMC (TW:) (NYSE:) to develop new AI chips, as A growing number of companies were looking to take advantage of the AI boom. TSMC, the world’s largest chipmaker by volume, rose 1.7% in trade in Taiwan.
Other Asian stocks were slightly positive, although larger moves were limited due to Chinese market holidays and anticipation of U.S. data. The figure is expected to show that inflation slowed in January but remained well above the Federal Reserve’s annual target range – a scenario that gives the central bank little reason to start cutting interest rates .
Dwindling bets on an anticipated interest rate cut by the Fed have been a major problem for Asian markets in recent weeks.
Australia’s rose 0.1%, while a private survey showed substantial improvement through the start of February.
led gains across Southeast Asia with a 0.4% rise, while Indian index futures pointed to a moderate opening, after the index slipped 0.8 % to a nearly two-week low on Monday.
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