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Asian stocks rise ahead of U.S. earnings; Nikkei up 0.71%

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Investing.com - Most Asian bourses traded higher Wednesday after U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE: AA) reported fourth-quarter sales that topped Wall Street estimates after the close of markets there Tuesday. Pennsylvania-based Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum maker, reported fourth-quarter revenue of USD5.9 billion. Analysts expected USD5.9 billion.

Pennsylvania-based Alcoa is a member of the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average and the first constituent in that 30-stock index to deliver fourth-quarter results.

In Asian trading Wednesday, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.71% as the yen moved lower against the U.S. dollar. Japanese exporters, such automakers, climbed on speculation the Bank of Japan will announce further easing measures when its two-day meeting concludes on January 22.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.37% while the Shanghai Composite added 0.07%. China is expected to release its most recent batch of trade data, including export figures, during Thursday's Asian session.

Speaking of economic data points, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.29% after a report showed the country's unemployment was unchanged in December.

In a report, Korea National Statistical Office said that South Korean Unemployment Rate remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.0%, from 3.0% in the preceding month. Analysts had expected South Korean Unemployment Rate to remain unchanged at 3.0% last month.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose climbed modestly despite a weak retail sales report. Retail sales in Australia fell unexpectedly last month, official data showed on Wednesday. In a report, Australian Bureau of Statistics said that Australian retail sales fell to a seasonally adjusted -0.1%, from 0.0% in the preceding month. Analysts had expected Australian retail sales to rise 0.3% last month.

Malaysian stocks were slightly lower after that country's trade balance report for December. In a report, Department of Statistics Malaysia said that Malaysian Trade Balance fell to 9.30B, from 9.60B in the preceding month. Analysts had expected Malaysian Trade Balance to fall to 8.20B last month.

Elsewhere, New Zealand's NZSE 50 gained 0.32% while Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.27%.

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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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