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Asian shares take cue from Wall Street, Nikkei up on tech shares, dollar

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Shutterstock photo - - Asian shares took a cue fom Wall Street and gained on Wednesday with the Nikkei 225 up 0.4% on a slightly stronger dollar and gains in technology shares.

Semiconductor firm Renesas Electronics Corp (TOKYO:6723). advanced 2.3%, electronics giant Hitachi, Ltd. (TOKYO:6501) rose 1.2% and Internet and telecoms conglomerate Softbank Corp. (TOKYO:9984) improved by 1.1%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up slightly by 0.1%, also aided by gains in the U.S. Australia's market had a strong run recently, surging 4.7% in the past two weeks.

Investors continue to look out for weaker iron-ore prices weighing on mining giants like BHP Billiton Ltd (ASX:BHP). That stock was up 0.2%, having fallen 6.2% since last Tuesday.

South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.3%.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose after data revealed Americans bought more long-lasting manufactured goods last month than markets were expecting, while upbeat consumer confidence data boosted equities as well.

The Dow 30 rose 0.17%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.11%, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose 0.29%.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported earlier that total durable goods orders, which include transportation items, surged by 22.6% last month, blowing past expectations for an increase of 7.5%.

Orders for durable goods in June were revised up to a 2.7% gain from a previously reported increase of 1.7%.

Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, contracted 0.8% in July, confounding forecasts for a 0.5% gain. Core durable goods orders rose by 3% in June, though stocks applauded the overall report anyway.

Separately, the Conference Board reported that its widely-watched consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 for August, the highest since October 2007, from 90.3 in July, whose figure was revised down from a previously reported 90.9.

Analysts expected the index to decline to 89.0 in August.

Stocks rose on the data, though geopolitical concerns dampened the day's buying spreee.

On Monday, Ukraine said an armored column including 10 tanks entered from Russia as the government in Moscow unveiled plans to send a second convoy with humanitarian aid.

Elsewhere, investors also tracked a lackluster report on U.S. home prices.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 8.1% year over year, shy of expectations for 8.4 percent. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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