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Asian Stocks Close Mixed after US Shares Fall

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Thursday after U.S. shares fell the most in seven weeks overnight in the wake of a string of disappointing earnings reports and rising bond yields.

Investors also digested regional corporate earnings results and looked for direction from the European Central Bank policy meeting later in the day.

China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 11.35 points or 0.3 percent to 3,408.24 after President Xi Jinping’s vast “Belt and Road” infrastructure project was included in the ruling Communist Party’s constitution. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 100.51 points or 0.4 percent to 28,202.38.

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Japanese shares eked out modest gains on earnings optimism and the prospect of further stimulus from the government. The Nikkei 225 Index edged up 32.16 points or 0.2 percent to 21,739.78, while the broader Topix index closed 0.1 percent higher at 1.753.90.

Brokerage Daiwa Securities Group rallied 5.4 percent after announcing a share buyback. Panasonic climbed 2.5 percent on a Nikkei report that it plans to expand production across all its battery factories. On the other hand, Advantest and Kobe Steel were among the prominent decliners.

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Australian shares recovered from early losses to end modestly higher, led by gold miners, healthcare and consumer staple stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 10.70 points or 0.2 percent to 5,916.30, and the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 9.80 points or 0.2 percent at 5,982.50.

Newcrest Mining, Regis Resources and Evolution Mining climbed 1-4 percent as gold recovered from 2-1/2 week lows. Blood products giant CSL edged up 0.3 percent and retailer Wesfarmers advanced 0.7 percent. Vitamin maker Blackmores gained half a percent after the company ended its infant formula venture with Bega.

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Meanwhile, lender ANZ fell 1.2 percent after it reported an 18 percent jump in annual cash profit but cautioned on its revenue growth outlook. Qantas Airways lost 1.4 percent after the airline warned that it expects a tough second half due to rising fuel costs.

Mining giant Fortescue Metals Group tumbled 3.6 percent as it reported a slight dip in the iron shipped in the September quarter and downgraded its forward price guidance. Heavyweight BHP Billiton dropped 0.7 percent, hit by a drop in iron ore prices.

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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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