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Asian Shares Close Broadly Higher Ahead of Chinese Inflation Data Release

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks closed broadly higher on Monday as the focus turned to the upcoming earnings season in the U.S.

While trade rhetoric continued between the U.S. and China, investors looked ahead to the release of U.S. and Chinese inflation data as well as comments from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan for directional cues.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 8.22 points or 0.3 percent to end at 3,138.33 as investors awaited Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Tuesday speech at the Boao Forum for directional cues. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 384.64 points or 1.3 percent to 30,229.58.

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Japanese shares reversed initial losses to end higher as the dollar pushed higher against the yen and traders awaited Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s speech later in the day as he starts his second term.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 110.74 points or 0.5 percent to 21,678.26, led by defensive shares, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.4 percent higher at 1,725.88.

Takeda Pharmaceutical rose half a percent after the company confirmed comments by Chief Executive Christophe Weber that the pharmaceutical company is considering taking full control of Irish rival Shire plc.

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In economic releases, Japan posted a current account surplus of 2.076 trillion yen in February, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday, down 28.7 percent on year.

The headline figure was shy of expectations for a surplus of 2.196 trillion yen following the 607.4 billion yen surplus in January.

Australian shares reversed early losses to end modestly higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 20 points or 0.4 percent to 5,808.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 17.80 points or 0.3 percent at 5,904.70.

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Banks ended mixed, with ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac rising between 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, while NAB shed 0.2 percent. Miners also turned in a mixed performance. BHP Billiton inched up marginally and Rio Tinto gained 0.3 percent while Fortescue Metals Group lost about 1 percent.

Woodside Petroleum and Origin Energy ended down about 1 percent as oil prices rebounded in Asian trading after falling about 2 percent on Friday. Macquarie Atlas Roads jumped 4.6 percent after unveiling a new name.

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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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