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Asian Equities Surge as US, China Continue Trade Talks in Washington

By Investors Hub

Most Asian stocks rose on Monday as the U.S. and China prepared to continue trade talks in Washington. Investors held hopes for a thaw in U.S.-China trade tensions after President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would help Chinese technology company ZTE Corp. “get back into business, fast,” as it was hurt by a U.S. ban.

Chinese shares rose as trade tensions eased and investors awaited MSCI’s final A-share inclusion list. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index rose 10.87 points or 0.3 percent to 3,174.14.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 419.02 points or 1.4 percent to 31,541.08 after data showed Hong Kong’s economy grew at the fastest pace in almost seven years.

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Japanese shares hit a 3-month high as the yen slipped against its major counterparts on improved risk appetite and cosmetics maker Shiseido posted better than expected earnings.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 107.38 points or 0.5 percent to 22,865.86, the highest closing level since February 2nd. The broader Topix Index closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,805.92.

Shiseido shares soared 15.6 percent after the company more than doubled its fiscal first-quarter net income. On the flip side, Olympus Corp plummeted 3 percent after its operating profit forecast for the year ending March 2019 came in below analyst estimates.

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Australian shares rose, led by miners and financials. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 19.10 points or 0.3 percent to finish at 6,135.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended 0.3 percent higher at 6,235.

BHP Billiton rallied 1.9 percent and Rio Tinto added 0.7 percent as iron ore prices continued to climb higher. While ANZ shed 1.9 percent on going ex-dividend, Wespac Banking Corp climbed 1.5 percent, Commonwealth rose 0.4 percent and NAB inched up 0.3 percent. Wealth manager AMP jumped 3.2 percent after hitting a near 7-year low on Friday.

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Downer EDI advanced 2.2 percent on winning an EPC order worth about A$150 million from First Solar for a 87 MW Solar Farm in NSW. Hospital operator Healthscope gained 4.5 percent after receiving a takeover bid from Brookfield Asset Management.

Telecom giant Telstra Corp slumped 5 percent after the company warned its 2018 earnings would be at the low end of its guidance range.

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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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