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Asian Equities Finish Mixed on Rising Oil Prices

By Investors Hub

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as the latest exchange of U.S.-China tariffs, rising oil prices and political turbulence in the U.S. ahead of the mid-term elections dented sentiment.

Investors also awaited cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision on Wednesday, with the central bank widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points.

China?s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 16.35 points or 0.6 percent to 2,781.14 as markets resumed trading after a holiday on Monday.

Meanwhile, Japanese shares rose for a seventh straight session, helped by gains by chip-related stocks. The Nikkei 225 Index rose 70.33 points or 0.3 percent to 23,940.26 as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend.

The broader Topix Index closed over 1 percent higher at 1,822.44, the highest level since early February, ahead of a Wednesday summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Tokyo Electron rallied 2.4 percent and Advantest jumped 3.5 percent despite rising concerns over memory chip demand. Rising U.S. yields pushed up banks, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial climbing around 0.8 percent.

Oil firm Inpex rose 0.9 percent and Japan Petroleum advanced 1.5 percent. Machinery manufacturers fell on profit taking after recent sharp gains, with Hitachi Construction Machinery declining 2.6 percent and Yaskawa Electric losing 6.3 percent.

In economic news, minutes from the Bank of Japan’s July meeting revealed that Japan’s economic expansion is continuing at an acceptable pace.

Australian stocks finished marginally lower, as a surge in energy stocks was offset by weakness in the banking sector. Both the S&P/ASX 200 Index and the broader All Ordinaries Index finished marginally lower at 6,185.90 and 6,299.10, respectively.

An overnight rally in oil prices helped lift energy stocks, with Oil Search, Woodside Petroleum and Santos climbing 2-3 percent. Beach Energy shares surged up 6 percent. Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose around 0.8 percent, while banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac fell over 1 percent each.

Immutep shares fell 2.2 percent on profit taking after rising almost 10 percent on Monday on news that the bio-pharma company signed a deal with Merck and Pfizer to test a cancerous tumor-fighting drug in a clinical trial backed by the two pharma giants.

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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