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Asian Shares Follow Wall Street Higher


Asian stocks closed higher on Tuesday after U.S. retail sales stabilized in January, helping ease concerns over the state of the economy.

Sentiment was also bolstered after British Prime Minister Theresa May won legally binding assurances from the European Union in an updated Brexit deal, just ahead of a vote in the British parliament.

Chinese shares gained ground on trade optimism after media reports suggested that Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a telephone call with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on key issues in their trade talks.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 33.31 points or 1.1 percent to 3,060.31, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surged up 417.57 points or 1.5 percent at 28,920.87.

Japanese shares soared, with gains in global equities and continued weakness in the yen helping underpin investor sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 Index ended the day up by 378.60 points or 1.8 percent at 21,503.69, while the broader Topix closed 1.5 percent higher at 1,605.48.

Tech stocks followed their U.S. peers higher, with Tokyo Electron and Sumco rising around 2 percent. TDK Corp. shares jumped 4.6 percent.

Exporters Canon and Panasonic rose around 2 percent. China-related stocks also surged, with Fanuc gaining 2.3 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery rising 3.9 percent.

Meanwhile, Australian markets finished marginally lower, giving up early gains. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index edged down 5.40 points or 0.1 percent to 6,174.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index edged down less than a tenth of a percent to 6,260.60.

Gold miners Northern Star, Newcrest and Regis Resources lost 3-4 percent after gold moved further off the key $1,300-per-ounce mark.

On the other hand, mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto rose over 1 percent, and smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group jumped 2.7 percent.

Woodside Petroleum and Santos climbed 1-2 percent after crude oil prices rose more than 1 percent overnight, helped by output cuts led by producer group OPEC.

Intellectual property company IPH rallied 2.8 percent after it made a hostile takeover bid worth A$1.97 per share in cash and stock for Xenith IP Group.

Seoul stocks advanced on expectations that China will implement investor-friendly policies and unveil more stimulus to prop up slowing economic growth.

The benchmark Kospi advanced 19.08 points or 0.9 percent to 2,157.18, marking the biggest single-day gain since February 20th.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics climbed 2.3 percent and top chipmaker SK Hynix added 1.7 percent after U.S. stocks rallied overnight, buoyed by technology shares.

Hyundai Motor rallied 3.7 percent after Institutional Shareholder Services recommended that shareholders vote for two Elliott nominees.

New Zealand shares ended little changed with a positive bias ahead of Britain's vote on a plan to leave the European Union.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rebounded from five straight sessions of declines after a report showed an unexpected uptick in U.S. retail sales in January.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent despite a steep drop by Boeing, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite soared 2 percent and the S&P 500 jumped 1.5 percent.

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