Banking shares advanced and majority of markets in Asia soared higher

Banking shares

With the dollar advancing amidst the rising expectations for an interest rate hike and the Dow Jones industrial average ending above 21,000 in March, markets in Asia traded higher last Thursday.

Meanwhile in Japan, the Topix added 0.75 percent or 11.60 points to 1,564.69 while the Nikkei 225 ended up 0.88 percent or 171.26 points at 19,564.80.

Majority of exporters also advanced, strengthened by depreciating yen. Sony shares gained 1.53 percent, Honda was up 0.62 percent, and Canon rose 1.31 percent while Toyota shares were nearly flat. Toshiba share advanced 2.7 percent according to the report of a Taiwanese manufacturer.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index ended lower by 0.2 percent or 48.42 points at 23,728.07. In Korea, the Kospi advanced 0.53 percent or 11.01 points to 2,102.65 driven the South Korean markets closing in Wednesday for a public holiday.

On Chinese mainland markets, the Shenzen composite declined 0.55 percent or 11.15 points to 1,997.71, while the Shanghai composite closed down 0.5 percent or 16.36 points at 3,230.57.

The Australian ASX 200 ended up 71.79 points at 5,776.58 or 1.26 percent driven by the big time gains of the financial sector with 1.26 percent.

Majority of Australian banks also gained more than 1 percent each; Westpac was up 1.03 percent, ANZ gained 1 percent, National Australia Bank added 1.06 percent and Commonwealth Bank of Australia edged up 1.27 percent.

In currency, the euro fell at $1.0531, the pound declined 0.13 percent to $1.0531 and the Australian dollar traded lower 0.25 percent to $0.7655.

In commodities; spot gold was down 0.28 percent at $1,245.42 per ounce and U.S. crude declined 0.45 percent at $53.59 per barrel. In addition, Brent also was down 0.25 percent to $56.22.

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