TOKYO (AP) — Asian markets were mostly higher Wednesday, cheered by gains on Wall Street and optimism about the telecommunications industry.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.5 percent to 18,454.92 in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8 percent to 5,474.30. South Korea's Kospi was little changed at 1,990.61. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.3 percent to 22,743.29, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.1 percent to 3,202.98.
WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 35.54 points, or 0.2 percent, to a record high 19,251.78. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.52 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,212.23 and the Nasdaq composite rose 24.11 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,333.
TRUMP TELECOMS: SoftBank's shares jumped nearly 4 percent in morning trading in Tokyo after its CEO met with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and then announced the Japanese company, which owns the majority of Sprint, plans to invest $50 billion in the U.S. to create 50,000 jobs. Sprint added 1.5 percent and T-Mobile gained about 2 percent, amid speculation T-Mobile it could be acquired, possibly by SoftBank.
ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "Asian indices look set to see moderate gains on the back of the euphoria that stems from US and European markets. This is despite the absence of the boost for oil-related equities we had experienced in the past few sessions," Jingyi Pan, a market strategist for IG, said in a research note.
AUSTRALIA: The Australian economy contracted 0.5 percent in the September quarter in the first quarterly decline since early 2011, the government said Wednesday. A contraction in the current quarter would put the country in a technical recession for the first time in 25 years. Annual growth was 1.8 percent. The bigger-than-expected contraction raised hopes for possible stimulus measures.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 37 cents to $50.56 in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, shed 34 cents to $53.59 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: In currencies, the euro fell to $1.0719 from $1.0781 the day before. The dollar rose to 114.14 yen from 113.89 yen.
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