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Asian Shares Close Mixed as Oil Markets Remain Steady

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance on Friday as trade war tensions and the prospects of a no-deal Brexit threatened to deepen the risks to global growth.

The oil markets held steady, while the dollar remained buoyant after U.S.-China trade talks ended without any tangible results.

Investors looked ahead to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s big Jackson Hole speech later today for the Fed?s views on Turkey’s currency crisis and the U.S.-Chinese trade spat.

Chinese stocks fluctuated before closing higher, led by banks. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 4.81 points or 0.2 percent to 2,729.43, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index shed 118.59 points or 0.4 percent to end at 27,671.87.

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Japanese shares rose for a fourth straight session as the yen remained weak and a government report showed the country’s annual inflation stalled in July, raising speculation the Bank of Japan may delay its exit from ultra-loose policy.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 190.95 points or 0.9 percent to 22,601.77, a more than two-week high. For the week, the index jumped 1.5 percent to snap a three-week losing streak. The broader Topix Index closed 0.7 percent higher at 1,709.20.

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Drugmaker Eisai rallied 2.7 percent on receiving European Commission approval for the oral receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor Lenvima (lenvatinib).
Chugai Pharmaceutical advanced 2.4 percent and Daiichi Sankyo gained 2.8 percent.

Australian shares reversed earlier losses to finish little changed after government lawmakers elected Treasurer Scott Morrison as the next prime minister, ending a week of political uncertainty.

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The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index ended up by 2.90 points at 6,247.30, snapping a three session losing streak. The broader All Ordinaries Index dipped 2.40 points to close at 6,357.90.

Healthcare stocks benefited from the recent softening of the Aussie dollar, with CSL climbing 2.9 percent and Cochlear adding 1 percent.

Lender Westpac fell 2.4 percent after reporting a steep drop in quarterly margins, while the other three banks ended on a mixed note. Mining stocks also ended mixed, with Fortescue Metals Group losing 1.5 percent.

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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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