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Asian Shares Mixed Amid Trade Worries

asianup may15 lt

Asian stocks ended mixed on Thursday as trade worries persisted despite reports U.S. President Donald Trump plans to delay imposing tariffs on auto imports by up to six months in order to allow negotiations to continue.

Trade concerns lingered after Trump declared a national emergency over threats against American technology in a move seen as targeting Chinese tech giant Huawei.

China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 17.03 points or 0.6 percent to 2,955.71 on expectations the government will roll out measures to support growth amid external uncertainties. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished marginally higher at 28,275.07.

Meanwhile, Japanese shares fell, with weak U.S and Chinese data as well as continued U.S.-China trade friction weighing on sentiment.

The Nikkei 225 shed 125.58 points or 0.6 percent to close at 21,062.98, while the broader Topix dropped 6.60 points or 0.4 percent to 1,537.55.

Exporters closed broadly lower as the yen strengthened. Toyota Motor and Panasonic fell over 1 percent. Japan Display tumbled 3.2 percent after the supplier for tech giant Apple reported a ninth consecutive quarterly loss and said it will cut about 1,000 jobs.

Banks came under heavy selling pressure, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial losing 3.6 percent and Mizuho Financial declining 1.5 percent.

Chip-related shares lost ground after Trump issued an executive order aimed at banning Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. Screen Holdings, Advantest and Taiyo Yuden declined 5-8 percent.

Australian markets finished modestly higher as disappointing wage and jobs data supported expectations for a central bank rate cut.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 43.60 points or 0.7 percent to 6,327.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 46.60 points or 0.7 percent at 6,417.50.

The April jobs report showed the unemployment rate crept to 5.2 percent, exceeding forecasts for 5.0 percent and up from the upwardly revised 5.1 percent in March. Full-time employment decreased by 6,300 to 8,792,700 persons.

Energy stocks such as Origin Energy, Oil Search, Woodside Petroleum and Santos jumped 2-4 percent on the back of an uptick in oil prices.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto rose around 1 percent, while smaller rival Fortescue Metals Group rallied 3.2 percent. Gold miners Evolution, Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources jumped about 2 percent.

In the banking sector, Westpac tumbled 3.9 percent on going ex-dividend. Accounting software company Xero soared 10.8 percent after narrowing its full-year loss.

Seoul stocks tumbled amid selling by foreign investors as the Trump administration escalated its trade conflict with China. The benchmark Kospi slumped 25.09 points or 1.2 percent to 2,067.69.

New Zealand shares advanced, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index ending up 45.41 points or 0.5 percent at 10,176.99 after hitting a record high earlier in the day.

U.S. stocks rose overnight after reports suggested that a U.S. delegation could head to China for trade talks as early as next week.

The Dow rose half a percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.1 percent.

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