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Asian Shares Mixed As Growth Worries Persist

stockmarkets dec12 26mar19 lt

Asian stocks ended mixed on Tuesday as concerns over global growth persisted, offsetting a slight rebound in U.S. Treasury yields.

Investors kept a close eye on Brexit developments after members of parliament temporarily seized control of the Brexit process from the British Prime Minister Theresa May in a move that gives them control of Parliament's agenda on Wednesday.

Chinese shares extended losses from the previous session amid fears of a U.S. recession and a protracted U.S.-China trade war.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped 45.94 points or 1.5 percent to 2,997.10, although Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 43.56 points or 0.2 percent to 28,566.91.

Japanese stocks recovered from steep losses in the previous session as a weaker yen boosted exporters. The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 451.28 points or 2.2 percent to 21,428.39, while the broader Topix rallied 2.6 percent to 1,617.94.

Canon, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Panasonic and Sony climbed 2-3 percent as the dollar rose against the yen. Nintendo rallied 4.8 percent on a Wall Street Journal report the video game maker might launch two new Switch console models this year.

Banks bounced back from losses in the previous session, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rising 1.5 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial adding 2.3 percent. In the healthcare sector, Astellas gained 3.3 percent and Daiichi Sankyo soared 4.8 percent.

Australian markets ended little changed with a positive bias. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 4.40 points or 0.1 percent to 6,130.60, while the broader All Ordinaries Index crept up 4.40 points or 0.1 percent at 6,213.10.

Coles Group advanced 2.2 percent after saying it would spend up to A$150 million over the next four years to double the supermarket's home delivery capacity.

BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group rose between 0.7 percent and 1.7 percent after Brazilian mining giant Vale SA said it needs more time to restart its 30 million tones/year Brucutu mine in Minas Gerais state.

On the other hand, retail-to-chemicals conglomerate Wesfarmers tumbled 3.5 percent after it announced a bid to acquire rare earths miner Lynas. Shares of the latter soared 35 percent.

Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy and Santos fell over 1 percent after crude oil prices declined overnight. Investment manager Challenger jumped 9.1 percent after expanding a partnership with MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings.

Seoul stocks rebounded as foreign investors turned net buyers after steep declines in the previous session. The benchmark Kospi edged up 3.94 points or 0.2 percent to 2,148.80 after falling the most in nearly five months on Monday.

Asiana Airlines bucked the uptrend to end down by 15 percent after it revealed a wider annual loss.

New Zealand shares ended notably higher, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index climbing 55.51 points or 0.6 percent to 9,574.82 as trade data topped forecasts.

A government report showed that New Zealand posted a merchandise trade surplus of NZ$12 million in February, beating expectations for a deficit of NZ$200 million following the NZ$914 million shortfall in January.

Kathmandu Holdings lost 2.9 percent. The outdoor clothing and equipment retailer reported a 13.7 percent increase in its first-half profit on a 13.3 percent rise in sales revenue.

Overnight, U.S. stocks ended a choppy session narrowly mixed as growth worries persisted even as the long-awaited findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed a cloud hanging over Donald Trump's presidency.

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