Stocks rise in Japan, Australia as most Asian markets remain closed for holiday

Shares advanced in Asia on Wednesday following a rally on Wall Street led by technology companies. There was little if any immediate reaction to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index NIK, -0.60%   gained 0.3% early Wednesday. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 XJO, +1.25%   also climbed 0.5%. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and most of Southeast Asia were closed for lunar new year holidays.

Among individual stocks, Yamaha Corp. 7951, -3.29%   and Panasonic 6752, -3.10%   rose while NTT Data 9613, -3.78%  , Nintendo 7974, -0.58%   and Sony 6758, -1.98%   were among the biggest decliners. A day after surging, Australian bank stocks slid back, with ANZ Banking ANZ, +1.63%  , Commonwealth Bank CBA, +2.18%  , National Australia Bank NAB, +1.26%   and Westpac WBC, +1.97%   declining.

Read: Chief of Australia’s central bank says rate changes may lie ahead

The overnight rally in U.S. markets, supported by strong corporate earnings, extended the benchmark S&P 500 index’s winning streak to five days.

More than 68% of companies reporting earnings in the S&P 500 beat analyst forecasts during the most recent quarter. Those results, in part, helped drive the market’s best January in 32 years.

Positive sentiment has been supported by reports from Washington, citing unnamed sources, that say U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin plan to travel to Beijing next week for the next round of talks aimed at resolving trade and technology-related disputes that have led to both sides imposing tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s products.

The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.22%   added 0.5% to 2,737.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.08%  gained 0.7% to 25,411.52. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite COMP, -0.36%   added 0.7% to 7,402.08.

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