Asian shares see solid rises

<p>Shares across Asia have seen solid rises. </p>

Shares across Asia have risen during trading on Wednesday (December 24th), with many markets taking the lead from Wall Street, which also saw rises overnight.

Stocks in the US were driven by figures for the third quarter of the year suggesting the country had experienced its fastest level growth in 11 years.

The economy grew at an annual rate of five per cent during the quarter, smashing previous estimates of 3.9 per cent.

As a result, the Dow Jones finished above the 18,000 for the very first time.

That momentum spread to markets all across Asia, with Japan's Nikkei gaining 1.2 per cent to end at 17,854.23 points.

That closing level was the Nikkei's highest in two and a half weeks, storming up after Tuesday's public holiday.

There could yet be more gains for Japanese shares, with markets opening for trading on Christmas Day.

One of the biggest winners during Wednesday was Sony, which recently announced that it was to partially reverse its decision to not show new film The Interview across US cinemas on Christmas Day.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng ended up by 0.1 per cent to end 23,349.34 in a half-day trading session.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index closed 0.4 per cent higher at 1,946.61.

Car manufacturer Hyundai went up by 4 per cent amid hopes that it would raise its dividend payouts.

Both the Hong Kong and South Korean markets will also be open on Christmas Day.

There was no such luck in China, which saw shares fall back, with the Shanghai Composite ending the day 1.9 per cent lower at 2,973.

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