Asian stocks opened mixed on Wednesday, overlooking gains on Wall Street overnight and following a bigger-than-anticipated trade deficit from Japan.
U.S. stocks closed higher on Tuesday as economic reports offered a benign view on inflation and a better-than-anticipated picture of the housing market. The Commerce Department reported that beginning home construction rose 15.7 percent in July on-month, while starts for volatile multi-family homes jumped 33 percent.
The Dow gained 0.5 percent, with Home Depot leading blue-chip gains. The S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent while the Nasdaq scaled 0.4 percent to hit another 14-year high. Geopolitics were to focus as a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing rockets into Israel, prompting Israeli airstrikes that health officials said killed a woman and a young girl.