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Asian Stocks Reverse Early Losses to End Higher

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks reversed early losses to end mostly higher on Wednesday as investors shrugged off geopolitical worries and looked ahead to the release of minutes of the Fed’s June meeting later in the day and the outcome of G20 summit, beginning Friday in Germany.

Japanese shares rebounded from a three-week low to finish modestly higher as the yen pared early gains and a private survey showed activity in Japan’s services sector expanded at a faster rate in June.

The Nikkei average rose 49.28 points or 0.25 percent to 20,081.63 while the broader Topix index closed 0.55 percent higher at 1,618.63. Automakers and financials led the gainers.

China’s Shanghai Composite index climbed 24.33 points or 0.76 percent to 3,207.13 after the announcement on allowing foreign investment in the Chinese bond market.

Investors shrugged off the latest survey from Caixin showing that growth in China’s services sector slowed in June. The PMI dropped to 51.6 from 52.8 in May.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 149 points or 0.59 percent at 25,538 in late trade. Private sector growth in Hong Kong continued to expand in June, and at a faster pace, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed revealed with a PMI score of 51.1, up from 50.5 in May.

Australian shares fell slightly in the absence of cues from Wall Street and amid simmering geopolitical tensions. Investors ignored the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group, which showed that the country’s services sector expanded at a faster rate in June.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slid 20.50 points or 0.35 percent to 5,763.30 while the broader All Ordinaries index dropped 18.60 points or 0.32 percent to 5,801.

The big four banks fell between 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent after sharp gains the previous day as South Australia’s Liberal Opposition vowed to block the controversial bank tax.

Miners BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto rallied about 2 percent each while energy majors closed on a mixed note as crude oil futures held steady near the $47 barrel mark.

Flight Centre Travel Group soared 10.4 percent on improved earnings outlook. Vocus Group climbed 2.1 percent after it allowed private equity giant KKR to conduct due diligence for its $1.66 billion buyout approach.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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