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Asian Shares Extend Gains After Wall Street Rally

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Asian stocks extended gains on Tuesday amid receding worries about Hurricane Irma and North Korea as the enormous storm weakened and the U.N. Security Council unanimously steeped up sanctions against North Korea for its latest missile and nuclear tests.

Chinese shares inched higher, although gains remained modest ahead of August industrial output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment data due this week. The benchmark Shanghai Composite closed 3 points higher at 3,379.49 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was marginally higher at 27,963 in late trade.

Japanese shares hit their highest level in a month as a weaker yen bolstered exporters and financials also gained ground in the wake of sharp gains in U.S. bond yields and lower-than-expected damage from Hurricane Irma.

The Nikkei average jumped 230.85 points or 1.18 percent to 19,776.62, the highest level since Aug. 8. The broader Topix index closed 0.94 percent higher at 1,627.45.

Exporters Canon, Toyota, Honda Motor and Panasonic climbed 1-4 percent, while banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial added around 2 percent each. Insurers MS&AD Insurance, Nomura and Dai-ichi Life Holdings rallied 2-3 percent.

Australian shares rose notably, led by financials after U.S. bond prices slipped Monday, sending yields higher. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose by 33.30 points or 0.58 percent to 5,746.40 while the All Ordinaries index ended up 31.30 points or 0.54 percent at 5,806.40.

The big four banks rose between 0.8 percent and 2.2 percent to extend gains for the second straight day while investment bank Macquarie Group advanced 2.3 percent.

Miners BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto gained 1-2 percent as Chinese iron ore and steel futures edged up after a five-day retreat. South32 shares jumped as much as 3.9 percent.

Ardent Leisure rallied 2 percent as its Main Event business chief executive Charlie Keegan resigned after 11 years at the helm. QBE Insurance Group climbed 2.5 percent after naming a new CEO.

Gold miners Evolution, Newcrest Mining and Regis Resources lost 2-5 percent as gold extended losses from the previous session amid gains in equities and the dollar's strength. Energy stocks also lost ground despite a more than 1 percent increase in crude oil prices overnight.

Investors shrugged off the latest survey figures from National Australia Bank showing that Australia's business confidence weakened in August.

Seoul shares advanced as retail and institutional investors turned out to be net buyers, offsetting selling by foreigners. The benchmark Kospi inched up 6.39 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 2,365.47.

New Zealand shares fell slightly to snap a four-day winning streak as large-cap stocks came under selling pressure after recent sharp gains.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slid 11.34 points or 0.14 percent to 7,840.41, with Sky Network Television, Heartland Bank, Metro Performance Glass and Orion Health Group pacing the decliners on pre-election jitters.

India's Sensex was rising half a percent ahead of August CPI inflation and July IIP data, slated for release later in the day.

Indonesian shares were marginally lower, while benchmark indexes in Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan were up between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks hit record highs, with financial and technology companies leading the way as geopolitical tensions ebbed and Hurricane Irma weakened to a tropical storm.

The S&P 500 rose 1.1 percent to mark its biggest gain since late April and the Nasdaq Composite also climbed 1.1 percent to close just below the record closing high it set on Sept. 1 while the Dow rallied 1.2 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

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