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Asian Shares End Higher As Chinese Data Signals Economic Rebound

Tue, 16th Apr 2019 10:55

CANBERA (Alliance News) - Asian stocks advanced on Tuesday as the US and Japan kicked off their first round of trade talks in Washington aimed at creating a bilateral trade framework.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in an interview with CNBC that "some sort of protectionism" around global trade is the biggest threat to global economic growth.

Chinese shares hit their highest level in nearly 13 months after data showed housing prices in 70 major Chinese cities increased an average of 10.6% year-on-year in March, signaling an economic rebound.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index surged 75.81 points or 2.39% to 3,253.60, marking the biggest single-day gain for the index in more than two weeks and the highest closing level since March 22, 2018. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.07% to 30,129.87.

Japanese shares hit a fresh four-month high as the yen held close to 2019 lows against the dollar and NTT Docomo Inc. announced its new mobile phone charge plans.

The Nikkei average rose 52.55 points, or 0.24%, to 22,221.66, a fresh four-month high, while the broader Topix index ended marginally lower at 1,626.46.

NTT Docomo jumped 3.6% after it announced smaller-than-feared price cuts. KDDI Corp surged 5.9% and SoftBank Corp added 1.3% on hopes that lower fees will help stimulate consumer spending.

Australian markets ended modestly higher, with gold miners and financials pacing the gainers. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 26 points or 0.42% to 6,277.40 while the All Ordinaries index ended up 24.40 points or 0.38% at 6,372.30.

Rio Tinto gained half a percent despite the mining giant cutting its FY iron ore guidance. Rival BHP shed 0.4% ahead of its quarterly production report on Wednesday while Fortescue Metals Group declined 0.6%.

Energy stocks such as Oil Search, Santos and Woodside Petroleum fell between 0.4 and 0.9% as oil extended losses on fears about oversupply after a Russian minister said the nation and OPEC might boost crude output to fight the US for market share. Beach Energy dropped 1.4%.

The big four banks rose between 0.6% and 1.3% despite underwhelming earnings from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Gold miners surged after three days of losses. Newcrest climbed 1.9% and Northern Star advanced 0.6%.

Lynas Corp., which is fending off a takeover bid from conglomerate Wesfarmers, gained 1% after it reported a more than 32% increase in production of rare earths oxides during the March quarter.

Vitamin maker Blackmores lost 1.6% after its profit for the first nine months of the year declined 14% amid softening demand from China.

In economic releases, minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's April 2 policy meeting showed that there is no strong case for near-term move in interest rates.

Seoul stocks closed higher for the higher for 13th consecutive session as foreign investors lapped up large-cap shares amid easing worries of a significant slowdown in global growth. The benchmark Kospi inched up 0.26% to 2,248.63.

Shares of Asiana Airlines jumped 16.1% after climbing as much as 30% the previous day. SK Networks jumped 7.5% on news that its parent group could possibly take over Asiana Airlines.

New Zealand shares rose for a fourth straight session, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ending the session up 62.04 points or 0.63% at 9,908.39.

Dairy firms continued to surge, with a2 Milk rising 2.6%, adding to the 4.2% gain the previous day. On the other hand, Restaurant Brands New Zealand plunged 5% after it decided not pay a final dividend.

Overnight, the major US averages all ended down around 0.1% as disappointing results from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. weighed on the banking sector.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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