Asian shares higher after record US market gains

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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 23 Feb 2018, 06:45 GMT Nikkei 225 one month chart
value change %
21892.78 +

Asian shares traded higher on Wednesday, taking the lead from Wall Street where shares closed at a record level overnight.

The Dow Jones finished over 18,000 for the first time after data showed the US economy grew at its fastest pace in 11 years in the third quarter.

The economy grew at an annual rate of 5% in the quarter, up from a previous estimate of 3.9%.

The momentum helped Japan's Nikkei gain 1.2% to 17,854.23 points.

That closing level was its highest in two and half weeks after the benchmark index was closed for a public holiday on Tuesday.

Sony's shares were up 4% after its Hollywood studio said it would screen comedy The Interview in some US cinemas on Christmas Day, having initially cancelled the release.

The Japanese markets are open for trading on Christmas Day.

Light trading

In China, shares fell back, with the Shanghai Composite ending the day 1.9% lower at 2,973.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng finished up 0.1% to 23,349.34 in a half-day trading session.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.3% to 5394.5 in light trading, closing up early at midday for the Christmas holiday.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed 0.4% higher at 1,946.61.

Shares of Hyundai Motor jumped as much as 4% on hopes that the automaker would raise its dividend payouts.

The Hong Kong, Australian and South Korean markets will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Thursday.

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