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Asian Shares Move Mostly Higher Amid Trade Talk Optimism

asian up 20sep19 lt

Asian stock markets ended mostly higher on Friday amid optimism that the stimulus packages by central banks around the world would help bolster slowing economic growth.

The focus also shifted to the U.S.-China trade war as investors digested news that U.S. and Chinese deputy trade negotiators resumed trade talks for the first time in almost two months on Thursday.

Chinese shares advanced after China's central bank reduced its one-year loan prime rate marginally but retained its five-year lending rate.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 7.17 points, or 0.2 percent, to 3,006.45, although Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 33.28 points, or 0.1 percent, to 26,435.67.

The Japanese market rose for a second straight day as investors digested data showing Japan's core consumer inflation slowed to a two-year low in August. The data raised expectations that the Bank of Japan will roll out additional easing measures to boost economic growth.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index rose 34.64 points, or 0.2 percent, to 22,079.09 after touching a high of 22,204.75 earlier. The broader Topix added 0.57 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to finish at 1,616.23.

Market heavyweight SoftBank rose 0.2 percent and Fast Retailing advanced 0.8 percent. Among the market's best performers, Rakuten gained 3.9 percent, while Suzuki Motor advanced 3.7 percent and DeNA Co. rose 2.8 percent.

The major exporters also closed mostly higher. Sony added 0.5 percent, while Panasonic and Canon rose 0.2 percent each. Mitsubishi Electric declined almost 1 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest ended unchanged, while Tokyo Electron edged down 0.1 percent. In the auto sector, Honda Motor rose 0.7 percent and Toyota Motor gained 0.5 percent.

Shares of Akebono Brake Industry Co. dipped 0.5 percent after the auto parts maker announced plans to close six plants in Japan and abroad to rebuild its business.

The Australian market pared early gains but still closed higher for a second straight day. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index added 13.30 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at a new one-month high of 6,730.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index rose 13.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to finish at 6,839.00.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking and Westpac added 0.3 percent each, while National Australia Bank advanced 1.6 percent.

IOOF Holdings' shares surged up 7.9 percent after the Federal Court dismissed the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's lawsuit against the wealth manager and granted it court costs.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals declined 1.3 percent and Rio Tinto dipped 0.6 percent, while BHP Billiton rose 0.2 percent.

Shares of Premier Investments jumped 15.3 percent after the conglomerate reported a nearly 28 percent increase in full-year profit and raised its final dividend.

Pushpay Holdings advanced almost 1 percent after the New Zealand-based mobile app payments developer raised its earnings outlook for the year to March 31 on cost efficiency improvements.

Seoul stocks ended higher for the eleventh straight day amid expectations of progress in the U.S.-China trade talks. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or KOSPI, added 11.17 points, or 0.5 percent, to finish at 2,091.52.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics edged up 0.1 percent, while automaker Hyundai rose 0.4 percent and steelmaker POSCO added 0.2 percent.

New Zealand stocks also closed modestly higher, with the benchmark S&P/NZX50 Index rising 28.34 points, or 0.3 percent, to 10,829.39.

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed mixed for the second straight session amid continued uncertainty about the outlook for interest rates following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement on Wednesday.

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