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Asian Shares Rise On U.S.-China Trade Talk Optimism

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Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Friday after reports that the U.S. and China might hold a fresh round of trade talks, a development that could help resolve the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

Concerns around emerging market risks also eased somewhat after Turkey's central bank raised its key interest rate sharply in a dramatic bid to control rocketing inflation and prevent a currency crisis.

Chinese stocks fluctuated before closing lower after the release of mixed economic readings. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 4.94 points or 0.2 percent to 2,681.64, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 271.92 points or 1 percent to 27,286.41.

Chinese industrial output and retail sales figures for August topped forecasts, but real estate investment cooled and growth in fixed asset investment dipped to a historic low, raising risks to China's economic outlook as the trade conflict with the U.S. escalates.

Japanese shares rallied to hit their highest level in more than seven months as the yen dipped on expectations of a new round of U.S.-China trade talks in the coming days and easing concerns about the state of emerging markets.

The Nikkei 225 Index surged up 273.35 points or 1.2 percent to 23,094.67, while the broader Topix Index closed 1.1 percent higher at 1,728.61.

Fuji Electric, Mitsui OSK Lines, Showa Denko KK, Alps Electric, Fuji Film and Yaskawa Electric jumped 4-8 percent. Chip-related stocks also surged, with Advantest, Tokyo Electron and Sumco soaring 5-6 percent.

Australian shares finished notably higher as investors lapped up beaten down stocks after a recent string of heavy losses since the beginning of this month.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 36.60 points or 0.6 percent to 6,165.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 36.40 points or 0.6 percent at 6,276.30.

Higher iron ore prices helped lift miners, with heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto ending up 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

The big four banks rose between 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent. In the healthcare sector, CSL rallied 2.1 percent and Cochlear added 1.5 percent.

Resmed Inc. jumped 2.2 percent after introducing its first minimal-contact full face CPAP mask.

Gains in technology shares helped Seoul stocks finish sharply higher for the day. The benchmark Kospi jumped 32.02 points or 1.4 percent to 2,318.25, helped by institutional and foreign buying in large-cap stocks.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics soared 4.1 percent, while chipmaker SK Hynix advanced 4.3 percent.

New Zealand shares finished higher, led by utilities such as Meridian Energy, which hit a record high in intraday trade. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 21.77 points or 0.2 percent to 9,270.76.

Overnight, U.S. stocks posted solid gains as investors cheered news of fresh U.S.-China trade talks in the near future and tepid inflation data.

Investors also digested policy statements from both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England, with both keeping interest rates on hold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 added half a percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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