Stocks around Asia were higher on Wednesday, while major currencies recovered some ground after a strong bounce for the US dollar in the previous session.

Korea’s was the only Asian stock market in negative territory today, with the Kospi pulling back 0.3 per cent from Monday’s record high.

The market was shut yesterday as the country held its nation election, which was won comfortably by the liberal Moon Jae-in. His victory puts to an end nine years of conservative rule in South Korea, most recently by Park Geun-hye, who was impeached for her role in a corruption scandal.

Japan’s Topix was up 0.2 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite was flat.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4 per cent with industrials and materials stocks offsetting another day of declines for the banks. The four major lenders – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ Banking Group – and Macquarie Group spent most of the morning session in negative territory after the federal treasurer on Tuesday used the national budget to announce a levy on bank liabilities that would cost them about A$6.2bn over the next four years.

The S&P 500 had eased 0.1 per cent from its record high on Tuesday.

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