Japan’s Nikkei 225 closes 3% higher as SoftBank Group shares surge 7%

SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan led gains among major Asia-Pacific markets on Wednesday, as investors monitored oil prices and continued to assess the outlook for U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 3%, closing at 28,040.16 as shares of SoftBank Group jumped 7.22%, while Fast Retailing climbed 5.21%. The Topix index advanced 2.33% to 1,978.70.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index jumped 1.21% to close at 22,154.08.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Xiaomi soared 4.08% after the firm announced Tuesday plans to repurchase shares in the open market “from time to time” at a maximum aggregate price of 10 billion Hong Kong dollars ($1.28 billion). Xiaomi on Tuesday also announced a 21.4% year-over-year rise in its fourth-quarter revenue.

Shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent briefly soared as high as 4%, but later pared most of the gains, finishing 0.26% higher ahead of its fourth-quarter and annual results announcement expected later on Wednesday. The Hang Seng Tech index gained 2.05% to 4,749.12.

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Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shanghai composite advancing 0.34% to 3,271.03 and the Shenzhen component rising 0.73% to 12,408.65.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.92% on the day to 2,735.05. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.5%, finishing its trading day at 7,377.90.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7%.

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The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.559 following a recent drop from above 98.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 121 per dollar, weaker than levels below 120 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7454, largely holding on to gains after yesterday’s rise from around $0.738.

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