Bangkok, Dec 13 (AP/UNB) — Shares rose in Asia on Thursday after a strong overnight finish on Wall Street. Traders were encouraged by a Wall Street Journal report saying the Chinese government might make changes to its "Made in China 2025" economic development plan.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 1.0 percent to 21,823.03 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng report jumped 1.1 percent to 26,465.48. The Shanghai Composite index surged 1.5 percent to 2,641.86 while the Kospi in South Korea added 0.6 percent to 2,095.51. India's Sensex advanced 0.6 percent to 35,992.21 while the S&P ASX 200 in Australia edged 0.2 percent higher to 5,665.10. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks failed to hang onto big gains still finished broadly higher as technology and health care companies rose. Stocks initially rallied after the Wall Street Journal reported that China's government could make changes to its "Made in China 2025" economic development plan — a step that might ease friction between the world's two largest economies. The S&P 500 index rose 0.5 percent to 2,651.07. The Dow gained 0.6 percent to 24,527.27. The Nasdaq composite jumped 0.9 percent to 7,098.31. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 1.1 percent to 1,455.32.
MADE IN CHINA 2025: The Chinese initiative aims to create leading companies in fields like artificial intelligence, electric cars and robotics. The Trump administration says the government is unfairly subsidizing Chinese companies and discriminating against foreign rivals. Along with disputes over China's handling of intellectual property, it's a significant piece of the trade tensions between the countries. The Wall Street Journal reported that a revised plan would allow greater access for foreign companies to Chinese markets and investment.
BREXIT: British Prime Minister Theresa May won a no-confidence vote that had threatened to end her tenure. Lawmakers within May's Conservative Party have expressed frustration over her negotiations of Britain's departure from the European Union, and many of them want a cleaner break from the trading bloc. Opposition lawmakers don't want Britain to leave the EU. The lingering uncertainty over the "Brexit" has pushed the British pound sharply lower. It rose Wednesday to $1.2634 from $1.2527 and was trading at $1.2617 on Thursday in Asia.
ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "Local equity markets are trading well, catching an updraft via U.S. equity futures as in the absence of any inflammatory rhetoric from the U.S. administration, the perception that trade tensions are easing continues to steer the ship. But investors are also breathing a sigh of relief that the U.K. worst-case scenarios didn't unfold overnight," Stephen Innes of Oanda said in a commentary.
TENCENT: Tencent Music Entertainment, the largest music streaming service in China, climbed 7.7 percent in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's IPO of 82 million shares priced at $13 a share and closed at $14 a share. Slightly more than half are being sold by the company and the rest are being sold by shareholders.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 17 cents to $51.32 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 1 percent to $52.15 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the international standard, advanced 26 cents to $60.41 per barrel. It lost 0.1 percent to $60.15 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.46 yen from 113.32 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1368 from $1.1370.