HONG KONG (AP) — Pent-up investor demand fueled a jump in Chinese stocks after markets reopened Thursday following an extended holiday but other Asian bourses were lackluster ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.
KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China soared 3.5 percent to 3,158.12 as trading resumed after a weeklong holiday. Other regional benchmarks struggled following several days of gains. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index slipped 0.7 percent to 18,190.98. South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.2 percent to 2,001.45. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7 percent to 22,364.32. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.4 percent to 5,220.20.
MARKET TALK: China's "rally is partly driven by the positive economic data released over the holiday break, such as a slightly better than expected official manufacturing" index, said Gerry Alfonso, trading director at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities in Beijing. "There are also some technical reasons for the rebound as investors are likely to start rebuilding portfolios after reducing positions before the holidays," he said. "Investors seem to be hunting for bargains in these initial trading moments."
MINUTE DETAIL: Elsewhere, investors are again focused on the Federal Reserve's rate hike intentions as the minutes are due Thursday from its Sept. 15-16 meeting. That's when the U.S. central bank refrained from rising interest rates from ultra-low levels, citing global market turmoil and low inflation. The report will provide more detail on the thinking behind the Fed's decision as well as possible clues on timing of the rate hike, which many economists now expect to come next year.
WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks ended higher Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 0.7 percent to close at 16,912.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 added 0.8 percent to 1,995.83. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.9 percent to 4,791.15.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 25 cents to $48.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 72 cents to settle at $47.81 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, which is used to price international oils, climbed 20 cents to $51.97 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 119.92 yen from 119.97 yen in the previous day's trading. The euro climbed to $1.1253 from $1.237.