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Asian Shares Mixed As US Tariffs Loom

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Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday in the absence of any fresh developments in U.S.-China trade tensions.

Underlying sentiment remained supported somewhat after the White House said talks are underway over the possibility of a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

China's Shanghai Composite index slid 4.68 points or 0.18 percent to 2,664.80 as investors awaited the U.S. tariff announcement on $200 billion of Chinese imports in a dispute over Beijing's technology policy. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.72 percent to 26,422.55.

Japanese shares rose the most in four weeks as the yen weakened for the third day running, helping lift exporters. Technology stocks also edged higher, tracking gains among their U.S. peers overnight.

The Nikkei average climbed 291.60 points or 1.30 percent to 22,664.69, marking its biggest single-day gain since Aug. 14. The broader Topix index closed 0.67 percent higher at 1,698.91.

Honda Motor, Toyota Motor, Sony and Panasonic rose between half a percent and 1.6 percent. In the technology sector, Advantest, Screen Holdings and Sumco all jumped over 2 percent.

Renesas Electronics soared 4.4 percent after the company agreed to buy
U.S. peer Integrated Device Technology Inc for about $6.7 billion.

Australian markets rose notably to snap an eight-session losing streak, with banks and energy companies pacing the gainers.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 38 points or 0.62 percent to 6,179.70 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 37.90 points or 0.61 percent at 6,287.60.

Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac climbed between 0.7 percent and 1.6 percent after recent string of losses while investment bank Macquarie Group advanced 1.8 percent after reaffirming its profit forecasts.

Woodside Petroleum, Oil Search and Origin Energy jumped 2-3 percent as oil prices held steady in view of looming U.S. sanctions against Iran's petroleum industry. Whitehaven Coal shares hit a near four-week high before closing 3.7 percent higher.

Gold miners and healthcare companies were among the prominent decliners.

In economic releases, a gauge of Australia's business confidence index fell to +4 in August, the lowest since August 2016, from +7 in July, data from the National Australia Bank showed. The business conditions index rose around 2 points to 15 in the month.

Seoul stocks closed lower, with concerns over rising uncertainties in emerging markets and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates keeping investors nervous. The benchmark Kospi dropped 5.46 points or 0.24 percent to 2,283.20.

Automakers succumbed to profit taking after recent sharp gains. Hyundai Motor lost 2.3 percent while its parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 2 percent. Leading steelmaker Posco fell almost 4 percent.

New Zealand shares rallied, led by consumer staple and telecom stocks after the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite edged higher overnight on optimism over tax relief. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index jumped 176.94 points or 1.96 percent to
9,225.57. A2 Milk shares soared 4.9 percent and Spark New Zealand advanced 3.6 percent.

Markets in Malaysia and Indonesia were closed in observance of Awal Muharram.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended mixed as optimism for further tax relief offset Apple's warning that its products would be affected by proposed U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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