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Asian Shares Rebound On Robust Chinese Data

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Asian stocks rebounded on Friday after recent heavy losses, as investors cheered media reports suggesting that the U.S. Treasury Department has not labeled China as a currency manipulator in an internal report.

Sentiment was also bolstered after data showed Chinese exports have held up well so far despite escalating trade tensions with the U.S.

Chinese exports logged double-digit growth in September, figures from customs administration revealed.

Exports grew 14.5 percent year-on-year in September, faster than the 9.8 percent increase seen in August. Imports advanced an annual 14.3 percent, resulting in higher trade surplus around $32 billion in September.

China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 23.45 points or 0.9 percent to 2,606.91, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 535.12 points or 2.1 percent to 25,801.49.

Japanese shares finished modestly higher as the yen held broadly lower and data showed Chinese exports unexpectedly strengthened in September.

The Nikkei 225 Index fell over 1 percent earlier in the day before reversing direction to end the session up 103.80 points or 0.5 percent at 22,694.66.

However, for the week, the index lost 4.6 percent, marking its biggest weekly drop since March. The broader Topix Index ended the day marginally higher at 1,702.45.

Industrial machinery and construction equipment makers rallied as strong Chinese data helped ease worries about slowing Chinese demand. Yaskawa Electric soared 5.6 percent, Komatsu gained 2.3 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery added 2.7 percent. Energy stocks fell, with Japan Petroleum tumbling 2.8 percent.

Australian stocks recovered from a weak start to finish modestly higher as soft U.S. inflation data helped ease fears over aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and Chinese export data for September came in well above expectations.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 11.90 points or 0.2 percent to 5,895.70, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 13.10 points or 0.2 percent at 6,006.60.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto advanced 1.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, after iron ore and copper prices edged up overnight. Smaller rival Fortescue Metals jumped 5.3 percent after launching a share buyback program of up to A$500 million.

Gold miners Evolution Mining, Newcrest and Northern Star climbed 3-5 percent after gold prices settled at a ten-week high overnight on safe-haven demand.

Banks ended on a subdued note as they faced intense questioning by a parliamentary committee over their governance failures.

Meanwhile, Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Oil Search, Origin Energy and Beach Energy dropped 1-3 percent after crude oil prices tumbled 3 percent overnight, adding to big losses in the previous session.

Fairfax Media slumped 13.6 percent and Nine Entertainment lost 12.4 percent after an announcement that they expect to complete their planned merger before December 31st.

Seoul stocks rallied as Treasury yields pulled back and tensions eased on the Korean Peninsula. The benchmark Kospi jumped 32.18 points or 1.5 percent to 2,161.85, snapping an eight-day losing streak.

The index lost nearly 100 points in the previous session, marking the largest single-day loss since September of 2011. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics climbed 2.1 percent, chipmaker SK Hynix jumped almost 5 percent and steelmaker Posco advanced 3.1 percent.

New Zealand shares posted strong gains to snap a nine-day losing streak as growth-oriented stocks rebounded from a recent string of heavy losses. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index surged up 122.04 points or 1.4 percent to
8,843.24. A2 Milk soared 9.4 percent and Synlait Milk rallied 3.3 percent.

Singapore's Straits Times index rose 1.3 percent as the country's central bank tightened its monetary policy for the second time this year. Malaysia's KLSE Composite Index was rallying 1.2 percent after the release of robust industrial output data for August.

India's Sensex was climbing 2.2 percent and the rupee recovered as falling oil prices helped ease investors concerns surrounding inflation and the twin deficits.

U.S. stocks fell sharply on Thursday to extend losses from the previous session on concerns about growth and corporate profits. Treasury yields pulled back to their lowest level in a week after data showed consumer prices rose by less than expected in September.

While the Dow and the S&P 500 dropped around 2.1 percent to hit two-month and three-month closing lows, respectively, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 1.3 percent to hit its lowest closing level in five months.

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