By Kenan Machado
Hong Kong hits new 10-year high; Samsung boosts Kospi
Asia-Pacific stocks gained early Wednesday, building on a rally for tech and consumer stocks in the U.S.'s first trading day of 2018.
In China, the CSI 300 -- made up of the biggest companies on both the Shanghai and Shenzhen indexes -- climbed 1.2%.
Overnight, the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.5%, with Apple (>> Apple) climbing 1.8%. On Wednesday morning, Samsung Electronics (>> Samsung Electronics Co Ltd) rose 3% shortly after opening, though it was recently 1.2% higher. The Kospi index gained 0.3%.
The Taiex in Taiwan, where many Apple suppliers are based, climbed 0.7% to hit a fresh five-week high; index heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (>> Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd.) climbed 2.2%.
Tech stocks also helped push Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index to another 10-year high; it rose 0.4%. Tencent Holdings (>> Tencent Holdings Ltd) , Sunny Optical Technology (>> Sunny Optical Technology (Group) Co. Ltd) and AAC Technologies Holdings (>> Aac Technologies Holdings Inc) all rose about 2% Wednesday morning.
"There is a lot of anticipation that earnings will increase" for the sector, said Shane Chanel, an equities adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers. But he cautioned that any misstep could burst the market's bubble.
Indexes in New Zealand and the Philippines set all-time records on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei was an outlier, down slightly in morning trading.
Despite strength for large mining companies BHP Billiton (>> BHP Billiton Limited) and Rio Tinto (>> Rio Tinto plc) , the S&P/ASX 200 was just 0.1% higher, due to declines in consumer and health-care stocks.
The U.S. dollar, which on Tuesday logged its largest drop in four years, as the WSJ Dollar Index fell for a seventh-straight session. It was recently up 0.1%.
And bitcoin has managed to stay above $15,000, according to price data from CoinDesk.