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Asian Stocks Close Mixed as Gold Hit One-Week High

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended on a mixed note Wednesday after Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other charges and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud.

Gold hit a one-week high as the dollar continued to weaken ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s August meeting today and the annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Friday.

Chinese shares fell notably ahead of lower-level talks between Washington and Beijing. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 19.22 points or 0.70 percent to 2,714.61, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.63 percent to 27,927.58.

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Japanese shares closed higher, led by technology and auto companies. Risk sentiment remained supported as the dollar held above 110 yen.

The Nikkei average recovered from early losses to end the session up by 142.82 points or 0.64 percent at 22,362.55. The broader Topix index ended 0.77 percent higher at 1,698.37.

Advantest Corp rose 1.6 percent and Tokyo Electron rallied 2.4 percent, tracking overnight gains among their U.S. peers. Automaker Toyota Motor jumped 2.3 percent, Honda Motor advanced 1.9 percent and Mazda Motor gained 1.7 percent.

KDDI Corp dropped 1.9 percent and NTT Docomo eased 0.6 percent after reports the government will cut the monthly fees of wireless carriers and stop handset bundling.

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SoftBank Group Corp reversed early declines to close 1.3 percent higher. Suruga Bank shares plunged 19.5 percent on worries about improper lending worth 1 trillion yen.

Australian shares fell amid political uncertainty after ten ministers offered to resign following a failed bid to oust Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as party leader.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 18.40 points or 0.29 percent to 6,266 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 9.20 points or 0.14 percent at 6,373.80.

The big four banks fell between 1 percent and 1.5 percent while miners BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group lost 1-3 percent. Scandal-ridden wealth management firm AMP declined 1.7 percent.

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Mobile network provider TPG Telecom soared 21.6 percent after the company said it is in merger talks with rival Vodafone. Coca-Cola Amatil rallied 3.6 percent after the company said it is considering selling its SPC fruit and vegetable canning business.

Carsales.com climbed 10.9 percent and Ardent Leisure advanced 2.8 percent after reporting their full-year results.

In economic news, Australia’s construction work done climbed a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent sequentially in the June quarter, following a 2.4 percent rise in the March quarter, official data showed.

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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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