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Asian Shares Finish Mixed on Rising Trade Tensions

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as rising trade tensions and the sell-off in emerging market currencies, particularly in Argentina and Turkey, kept investors in a defensive mode.

China’s Shanghai Composite index rallied 29.85 points or 1.1 percent to 2,750.58, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 260.80 points or 0.9 percent to 27,973.34.

Japanese stocks ended flat ahead of U.S.-Canada trade talks as well as the August U.S. jobs data due this week.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index ended largely unchanged with a negative bias at 22,696.90, while the broader Topix Index closed 0.1 percent lower at 1,718.24.

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Exporters, Canon, Toyota, Panasonic and Honda Motor fell between 0.4 percent and 1.2 percent despite a weaker yen.

In economic news, Japanese companies’ capital spending increased the most in more than a decade in April to June period, data from the Finance Ministry revealed.

Capital spending surged up 12.8 percent year-on-year in the June quarter, faster than the 3.4 percent increase a quarter ago. This was the strongest growth since 2007.

Seoul stocks closed higher as foreign investors lapped up large-cap tech and bio companies. The benchmark Kospi recovered from early losses to finish up by 8.69 points or 0.4 percent at 2,315.72.

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South Korea’s economic growth eased more than initially estimated in the three months ended June, latest figures from Bank of Korea showed today.

GDP grew 0.6 percent sequentially in the second quarter, revised down from 0.7 percent rise seen in the flash report. During the first quarter, the rate of expansion was 1.0 percent.

Australian shares fell modestly as the country’s central bank maintained its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as widely expected, and economic reports on manufacturing and current account balance painted a mixed picture of the economy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 17.80 points or 0.3 percent to 6,293.10, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended down 17.60 points or 0.3 percent at 6,398.90.

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The big four banks fell between 0.6 percent and 1.4 percent on reports that the Royal Commission inquiry would include superannuation funds, among others.

Whitehaven Coal lost 7.6 percent on going ex-dividend. Gold miner Evolution Mining soared 5.2 percent after it forecast gold output of at least 700,000 troy ounces over the next three years.

Shares of Kogan.com slumped 9 percent after the online retailer’s co-founders Ruslan Kogan and David Shafer offloaded A$40 million of the company’s shares.

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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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