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Asian Shares Close Broadly Lower as Investors Await Chinese Data

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks closed broadly lower on Monday as investors awaited key data from the U.S. and China this week for clues on growth and the interest rate outlook. Traders also kept an eye on oil price movements ahead of a major meeting among oil producers on November 30th.

Chinese stocks fell sharply on concerns over rising borrowing costs as Beijing stepped up a crackdown to fend off financial risks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 30.99 points or 0.9 percent to 3,322.83 amid bond market jitters, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 180.13 points or 0.6 percent to 29,686.19.

Japanese shares gave up early gains to end modestly lower as a slightly stronger yen sapped investors’ appetite for risk. The Nikkei 225 Index slid 54.86 points or 0.2 percent to 22,495.99, and the broader Topix Index closed 0.2 percent lower at 1,776.73.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Sumitomo Heavy Industries and Sumco lost 2-4 percent. Meanwhile, Nintendo rallied 2.4 percent following reports of record Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the U.S.

Australian shares closed marginally higher and the Aussie dollar slid after China, Australia’s largest trading partner, cut import tariffs on 187 consumer goods.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Inched up 6.20 points or 0.1 percent to 5,988.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index edged up 7.30 points or 0.1 percent at 6,070.40.

Healthcare and industrial stocks rose, with Ramsay Health Care rising over 1 percent and Downer EDI jumping as much as 5 percent. Gold miners such as Newcrest and Regis Resources suffered heavy losses after gold fell Friday for its first weekly drop in three weeks.

Seoul stocks tumbled to hit a four-week low amid selling by foreign investors. The benchmark Kospi plunged 36.52 points or 1.4 percent to finish at 2,507.81. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics tumbled 5.1 percent after a brokerage downgrade, while chipmaker SK Hynix lost 2.4 percent.

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