Asia Markets: Nikkei makes up early losses as Asian markets are mostly quiet

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Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly quiet in early Wednesday trading, with Japanese stocks making up early losses following muted moves in the U.S. and a steady yen, while Australia’s benchmark rebounded some following Tuesday’s underperformance.

The Nikkei NIK, +0.23%   turned slightly higher after edging lower following the opening bell, after posting three gains in the past four days. Some profit-taking was underway after this week’s gains were being balanced out by the dollar-yen hitting session highs of ¥109.93. That helped automakers, which jumped to start the week. Toyota 7267, -0.09%   was last up more than 1%. Other export-related names were also seeing a lift, with Sony 6758, +1.54%   climbing 1.5% and Hitachi 6501, +3.02%   up 2.9%.

Chinese big caps were nearly flat in early trading. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.22%  was up slightly after starting the day 0.3% lower, after rising 0.7% Tuesday, dragged down by energy and financial names. Meanwhile, Shenzhen’s benchmark 399106, -0.06%   was essentially flat after Tuesday’s outperformance. That came as Facebook confirmed it struck data partnerships with several Chinese electronics firms, including Huawei.

Australia’s S&P/ASX XJO, +0.32%   was up an early 0.3%, with the materials sector jumping more than 1% as big miners BHP Billiton BHP, +1.80%   and Rio Tinto RIO, +2.53%   were in rally mode, while New Zealand’s benchmark NZ50GR, +0.16%   was up 0.2% as it looked for a second straight record-high close. South Korea’s markets were closed for a holiday.

Singapore shares STI, -0.29%   edged higher, helped by banking stocks. Hutchison Port NS8U, +1.75%  continued its rebound, gaining a further 3.5%. Malaysian stocks FBMKLCI, +0.24%   open slightly lower, while Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.60%   jumped about 0.5%.