Korea Leads Most of Asia Higher

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday as investors awaited remarks from U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen.

The Nikkei 225 triumphed 391.25 points, or 1.4%, to 28,633.46

The Japanese yen was at 104.06 per U.S. dollar following an earlier high of 103.64 against the greenback.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong popped 779.51 points, or 2.7%, to 29,642.28. Shares of HSBC listed in the city rose 3.3% while life insurer AIA surged 3.1%.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced an extension of social distancing measures in the city after coronavirus infections returned to triple digits.

South Korea’s Kospi led gains among the region’s major markets, as shares of automaker Hyundai Motor surged 8.5%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7704, off levels above $0.775 seen late last week.

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Yellen will tell the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that the country is headed for a major recession unless they "act big."

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 81 points, or 1.5%, to 5,437.52

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 78.73 points, or 2.6%, to 3,092.66

In Singapore, the Straits Times recovered 5.52 points, or 0.2%, to 2,995.92

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index screamed 265.37 points, or 1.7%, to 15,877.37

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 jumped 42.95 points, or 0.3%, to 12,881.31.

In Australia, the ASX 200 climbed 79.58 points, or 1.2%, to 6,742.62