Japanese shares outperformed the region by clinching a new multi-year high as the rest of Asia opened mixed on Thursday following a flat finish on Wall Street overnight.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed mixed after struggling to stay positive amid firming oil prices, moderate housing data and debate over Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s congressional testimony. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 traded up 0.1 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite broke a nine-day winning streak to finish flat.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index touched a fresh 15-year high of 18,692 as dollar-yen was jumped 0.2 percent to trade at 119.01. Financials extended their rally on the back of news that Japan’s Financial Services Agency could give bank groups the freedom to expand into areas like e-commerce. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group drifted up 0.4 percent each.
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