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Most Asian Shares Rise After US Govt Debt Yields Fall

By Investors Hub

Most Asian stocks rose on Friday after U.S. government debt yields fell from multi-year highs reached on Wednesday, helping ease worries about inflation and higher interest rates.

The dollar edged up against the yen on improved risk appetite and oil held onto overnight gains after an unexpected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, while gold prices dipped on dollar strength and remained on track for their sharpest weekly drop in two-and-a-half months.

Japanese shares eked out modest gains as bond markets regained stability. The Nikkei 225 Index rose 156.34 points or 0.7 percent to 21,892.78, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.8 percent higher at 1,760.53.

Exporters Canon, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Panasonic rose between 0.6 percent and 1.4 percent as the dollar edged up against the yen and other currencies. Oil firm Inpex rallied 2.1 percent and Japan Petroleum rose 1.1 percent.

In economic news, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said that overall nationwide consumer prices in Japan climbed an annual 1.4 percent in January. That exceeded forecasts for 1.3 percent and was up from 1.0 percent in December.

Australian stocks extended gains for the third straight session, with mining and energy stocks leading the way higher after oil prices rose around 1.5 percent Thursday.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 48.90 points or 0.8 percent to 5,999.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index advanced 47.50 points or 0.8 percent to 6,105.20.

Energy majors Beach Energy, Origin Energy, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum rose between half a percent and 0.8 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia advanced 1.1 percent after it denied most of the claims against it alleging breaches of money laundering laws.

Mining giant BHP Billiton rallied 1.6 percent to extend gains for the second straight session as Chinese iron ore prices ticked higher. Rival Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group gained 0.8 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Gold miners Newcrest Mining and Evolution rose 1-2 percent after a modest increase in gold prices overnight. Shares of Accent Group, brand owner of The Athlete Foot, soared 18.5 percent after the company lifted its first-half profit by 19 percent.

Regis Healthcare climbed 8.4 percent despite the company posting lower half-year profits. Woolworths Group tumbled 2.6 percent despite the retail giant reporting a 38 percent jump in first-half profit.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed up 20.68 points or 0.6 percent at 3,289.02, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 301.49 points or 1 percent to 31,267.17.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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