Asian markets reverse early losses to close higher

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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 23 Mar 2018, 06:45 GMT *Chart shows local time Nikkei 225 one month chart
value change %
20617.86 -

Asian shares reversed earlier losses to trade higher on Wednesday despite some big falls in US shares on Wall Street.

US shares were depressed by some disappointing company results, with big companies such as Microsoft and DuPont being hit by the stronger dollar.

But in Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed up 0.2% at 17,795.73 - its highest since 29 December - on expectations of strong company earnings.

The dollar was barely unchanged at 117.92 yen from 117.90 yen in US trade.

Sony shares rose 2.7% after reports said it planned to cut about 1,000 more jobs in its struggling smartphone division.

Chinese markets were mixed, with the Shanghai Composite dropping 1.4% to 3,305.74 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.2% higher at 24,861.81.

Australian shares closed higher after data showed that consumer inflation rose at its slowest annual pace in two and half years in the fourth quarter as fuel prices plunged.

However, core inflation increased by 0.7% which was above expectations and economists say there is a diminishing chance of an interest rate cut by the Australian central bank.

The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.1% to 5,551.6 - the fifth consecutive session it has risen.

In South Korea shares reversed losses to close at a seven-week high, with the benchmark Kospi index up 0.5% at 1,961.58.

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