CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stock markets are rebounding on Wednesday, recovering some of the sharp losses made in the previous sessions, after U.S. stocks closed sharply higher overnight after a volatile session. Concerns about rising bond yields and potentially higher interest rates resulted in a brutal selloff in global markets earlier this week.
The Australian market is advancing following the overnight rally on Wall Street.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is rising 64.10 points or 1.10 percent to 5,897.40, off a high of 5,938.60 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 71.60 points or 1.21 percent to 6,001.80. On Tuesday, Australian shares suffered their biggest single-day loss in more than two years.
Among the big four banks, ANZ Banking, National Australia Bank, and Westpac are higher in a range of 0.7 percent to 0.9 percent.
Commonwealth Bank's shares are down 0.3 percent after the bank reported a 1.9 percent decline in its first-half cash profit as it set aside almost A$600 million in cash for potential penalties in its court battle with Austrac. Pro-forma underlying cash profit excluding the provision rose 5.8 percent.
In the oil sector, Santos and Woodside Petroleum are rising more than 1 percent each, while Oil Search is adding 1 percent even as crude oil prices extended losses overnight.
The major miners are also higher. Rio Tinto is rising 3 percent ahead of the release of its full-year results later in the day, while Fortescue Metals is advancing more than 2 percent and BHP Billiton is adding almost 2 percent.
Meanwhile, gold miners are weak after gold prices edged lower overnight. Newcrest Mining is down more than 2 percent and Evolution Mining is losing almost 4 percent.
Murray Goulburn, which is to be acquired by Canadian dairy giant Saputo, reported a net loss for the first half that narrowed from last year. Underlying profit rose 53 percent. MG Unit Trust shares are unchanged.
CIMIC Group's shares are gaining more than 5 percent after the construction giant reported a 21 percent increase in full-year profit and raised its dividend by 13 cents.
Carsales.com recorded a 27 percent increase in its first-half net profit and said it is on track to deliver growth in the second half. However, the online vehicle sales company's shares are losing more than 3 percent.
In economic news, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed that the construction sector in Australia continued to expand in January, and at a faster rate, with a Performance of Construction Index score of 54.3.
That's up from 52.8 in December, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.
In the currency market, the Australian dollar regained some ground against the U.S. dollar. The local unit was quoted at US$0.7886, up from US$0.7857 on Tuesday.
The Japanese market is sharply higher, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index gaining 3 percent after U.S. stocks rebounded overnight. In addition, a weaker yen lifted exporters' shares.
In late-morning trades, the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is gaining 707.70 points or 3.27 percent to 22,317.94, off a high of 22,353.87 earlier. On Tuesday, the Nikkei index fell 4.73 percent, marking its steepest fall since June 2016.
The major exporters are sharply higher, thanks to a weaker yen. Panasonic is adding almost 6 percent, Sony is gaining more than 4 percent, Canon is higher by more than 3 percent and Mitsubishi Electric is advancing almost 3 percent. SoftBank Group's shares are up almost 4 percent.
Among automakers, Toyota is gaining more than 5 percent and Honda is rising more than 3 percent. In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial is adding more than 2 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial is higher by almost 3 percent.
In the oil space, Inpex is adding more than 4 percent and Japan Petroleum Exploration is advancing almost 2 percent despite crude oil prices extending losses overnight.
Among the market's best performers, Sumco Corp. is gaining more than 11 percent, Yokogawa Electric is rising more than 9 percent and Furukawa Electric is higher by more than 7 percent.
On the flip side, Japan Tobacco is losing more than 3 percent, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding is lower by more than 2 percent and Marubeni Corp. is down more than 1 percent.
In economic news, Japan will on Wednesday see preliminary December results for its leading and coincident indexes as well as December numbers for labor and real cash earnings.
In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the mid 109 yen-range on Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia, Taiwan is rising more than 2 percent and Hong Kong is adding almost 2 percent. Indonesia and Malaysia are up more than 1 percent each, while Singapore and Shanghai also higher. Meanwhile, New Zealand and South Korea are lower.
On Wall Street, stocks saw considerable volatility over the course of the trading session on Tuesday before ending the day sharply higher. While some traders were looking to pick up stocks at reduced levels following recent weakness, others questioned whether the recent pullback would continue.
The Dow jumped 567.02 points or 2.3 percent to 24,912.77, the Nasdaq surged up 148.36 points or 2.1 percent to 7,115.88 and the S&P 500 climbed 46.20 points or 1.7 percent to 2,695.14.
The major European markets also moved substantially lower on Tuesday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index tumbled by 2.6 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index and the German DAX Index slumped by 2.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
Crude oil futures continued to fall Tuesday, even as U.S. stocks were found their footing after the biggest one-day drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. March WTI crude declined $0.76 or 1.2 percent to $63.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX