Asia markets mostly rose Wednesday morning as investors await U.S. President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.36 percent in early trade while the Topix index added 0.07 percent.
Australian shares retraced early losses as the country’s benchmark ASX 200 traded near flat.
The so-called Big Four banks in Australia stumbled followed gains in the previous session. Shares of ANZ were down 1.45 percent, Commonwealth Bank lost 1.86 percent, Westpac shed 1.99 percent and the National Australia Bank fell 1.44 percent. On Tuesday, banking stocks had gained after a special government-appointed inquiry into Australia’s financial sector did not recommend breaking up any of the banks or interfering in the way they lend money.
The session in Asia followed gains on Wall Street overnight, ahead of Trump’s address.
“Expectations are for the President to make comments on North Korea, the US economy, China trade talks and border security,” Rodrigo Catril, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at the National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note. “The latter of course is the main focus for markets given that Trump has hinted at the possibility of declaring a national emergency (which would allow him to circumvent Congress) in order to fund his much desired wall along the Mexican border.”
“The political ramifications from such an announcement (setting a precedence of governing through presidential decree) could rattle markets as it would further deteriorate an already tense relationship with a Democrat led Congress,” Catril said.