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Asian Shares Rise As U.S. Lawmakers Reach Deal On Border Security


Asian stocks rose broadly on Tuesday as another round of U.S.-China trade talks got underway in Beijing and U.S. congressional negotiators reached an agreement in principle to fund the government and avoid another shutdown ahead of a midnight deadline on Friday.

Chinese shares extended gains for the fourth straight session as Beijing vowed policy support for the healthcare sector.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbed 18.00 points or 0.7 percent to 2,671.89, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 27.49 points or 0.1 percent to 28,171.33.

Japanese shares led regional gains as markets reopened after being closed for the National Foundation Day holiday on Monday.

The Nikkei 225 Index spiked 531.04 points or 2.6 percent to 20,864.21, and the broader Topix surged up 33.20 points or 2.2 percent to 1,572.60.

Nissan Motor rose 1.9 percent before unveiling its earnings later in the day. Honda Motor gained 0.8 percent and Toyota added 2.4 percent.

Chipmaker Renesas Electronics soared 16.3 percent, while Toshiba lost 5.9 percent on a Nikkei report that the conglomerate is preparing to cut its full-year profit forecast by at least half.

Australian stocks eked out modest gains on optimism over the U.S.-China trade talks. Financials led the surge after investment bank Macquarie Group reiterated its profit guidance for another record year.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 18.30 points or 0.30 percent to 6,079.10, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 20.10 points or 0.3 percent at 6,148.70.

Macquarie Group, Australia's biggest investment bank, jumped 2.2 percent. In the healthcare sector, heavyweight CSL advanced 1.3 percent ahead of its half-yearly results.

Santos, Oil Search and Origin Energy climbed 1-2 percent as oil prices edged up, drawing support from OPEC-led supply cuts and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. Mining stocks ended on a mixed note.

Toll road operator Transurban declined 1.9 percent after it reported a nearly 62 percent drop in first-half profits following its costly acquisition of Sydney's WestConnex motorway scheme.

In economic news, the total number of home loans issued in Australia fell a seasonally adjusted 6.1 percent in December, a government report showed, missing expectations for a drop of 2.0 percent.

Meanwhile, a key measure of Australian business conditions showed a welcome bounce in January after an alarmingly sharp drop in the previous month.

Seoul stocks finished higher, led by tech heavyweights. The benchmark Kospi gained 9.74 points or 0.5 percent to end at 2,190.47. Samsung Electronics rallied 2.3 percent, SK Hynix added 2.4 percent and LG Electronics jumped 3.8 percent.

New Zealand shares rose notably, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index ending up 70.77 points or 0.8 percent at 9,280.77 after credit card spending figures for January topped forecasts.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended a choppy session mixed as another round of U.S.-China trade talks began with working-level talks in Beijing and uncertainty over congressional budget talks sparked talk of another possible government shutdown.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 both inched up around 0.1 percent.

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