SYDNEY, Australia - Chinese mainland shares rose for the fifth day in a row on Thursday.
The Australian market also advanced. However in Japan and Hong Kong the sellers took charge.
At the close of trading Thursday, China's Shanghai Composite index was ahead 8.90 points 0.26% at 3,386.46.
The financial sector sub-index added 1.48%, and securities firms jumped 3.48%. "The rise was a matter of fundamentals, reflecting signs of improving performance at securities firms," Zhang Gang, an analyst with China Central Securities told Reuters Thomson. "Expectations of possible consolidation in the sector had also boosted interest," he added.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 retreated 96.70 points or 0.43% to 22,418.15.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 171.96 points or 0.69% to 24,930.58.
The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 44.40 points or 0.70% to 6,180.30.
On foreign exchange markets the euro was changing hands at 1.1847, slightly down from its New York close overnight. The British pound was stronger, rising to a 4-month high around 1.3166. The Japanese yen edged down to 105.66 The Canadian Dollar was strong but slightly off its New York close. It last traded in Sydney at 1.3284. The Australian dollar eased on profit-taking to 0.7182, after earlier hitting a high of 0.7241 after the RBA left official interest rates unchanged. The New Zealand dollar was a few points lower at 0.6636.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 373.05 points, or 1.39%, at 27,201.52.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 21.26 points, or 0.64%, to 3,327.77.
The Nasdaq Composite advanced 57.23 points, or 0.52%, to 10,998.40.