Asian Markets End Higher

( - Asian markets, with the exception of Shanghai and Hong Kong, moved higher on Thursday, tracking cues from Wall Street where the major indices had one of their best sessions in recent times yesterday.

After suffering a severe setback on Christmas Eve, U.S. stocks climbed higher overnight with traders indulging in hectic bargain hunting.

Easing worries about the tenure of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and a strong rebound in crude oil prices aided sentiment. Chinese stocks were down, however, due to trade tensions.

The Japanese market rose sharply, extending gains to a second successive session. The benchmark Nikkei 225 ended stronger by 3.9% at 20,077.62.

Banks, chemicals, foods, insurance, mining, metals, oil, pharma, automobile and energy stocks were all in demand.

Mizuho Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, Yahoo Japan, JX Holdings and Sumco Corp gained 2.3 to 8% on strong volumes.

Chiyoda Corp. gained over 10%, Showa Shell KK, Shiseido and Yamoto Holdings moved up by 7.5 to 8%.

In the Australian market, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.9% and the broader All Ordinaries index gained 1.84%.

Shares from consumer durables, financial, energy, healthcare, industrials, information technology, mining and utilities sections rallied sharply.

Ausdrill, Bellamys Australia, Afterpay Touch, Wisetech Global and Appen Ltd. shares gained 5 to 7.4%. Meanwhile, Speedcast International, Healthscope and Unibail Rodamco Westfield closed weak.

The Chinese market ended weak, led by losses in technology, gas and multiutilites sections. Disappointing data on the country's industrial profits, due to lower sales growth and producer prices and rising costs dragged the market down.

The Shanghai Composite Index declined by about 0.6% and settled at fresh 3-year low.

Shares of Wintime Energy Co. climbed up over 10%. Eastern Communications, another big gainer, also moved up 10%.

Technology stock Suzhou Keda Technology shed 10%T and Nanjing Textiles Import & Export Corp. lost over 9%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended lower by 0.87% at 25,429.00. While shares from IT hardware sections moved higher, those from utilities, properties, finance and healthcare sections declined.

In South Korea, the KOSPI ended little changed from previous close. Taiwan and New Zealand ended with strong gains.

Markets in Malaysia and Indonesia were heading to a firm close, with their benchmark indices rising by 0.6% and 1.1%, respectively. Singapore's STI Index was up nearly 1.5% a few minutes ahead of the closing bell.

In the Indian market, the Sensex and the Nifty were both higher by 0.75%.

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