Most of the Asian equity benchmarks are trading up in the early deals on Wednesday despite the modest losses overnight on Wall Street and lower commodity prices. Investors are awaiting details on US President Donald Trump's promised tax cuts, infrastructure spending plans and repeal of Obamacare as Trump kicked off his first address to the US Congress. Meanwhile, Japan’s stocks extended gains after a series of hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve officials bolstered investor confidence and US President Donald Trump gave a speech to Congress that contained few new proposals. Among the other Asian markets, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are higher. Bucking the trend, Indonesia and Taiwan are lower. The markets in South Korea are closed for the Independence Day holiday.
Nikkei 225 surged 222.20 points or 1.16% to 19,341.19, Hang Seng gained 47.72 points or 0.20% to 23,788.45, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 3.60 points or 0.21% to 1,697.37, Shanghai Composite added 12.44 points or 0.38% to 3,254.17, and Straits Times was up by 19.27 points or 0.62% to 3,115.88.
On the flip side, Jakarta Composite declined 18.38 points or 0.34% to 5,368.31, and Taiwan Weighted was down by 46.55 points or 0.48% to 9,703.92.