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Asian Shares Rise On Economic Recovery Hopes

stockmarkets dec12 04jun20 lt

Asian stocks rose broadly on Thursday as social unrest across the U.S. showed signs of calming and the ADP's U.S. private sector jobs report showed employers cut fewer jobs than expected in May.

However, Chinese shares finished slightly lower due to lingering worries about diplomatic tensions between the United States and China.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 4.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,919.25, although Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index edged up 40.68 points, or 0.2 percent, to 24,366.30.

Japanese shares rose for a fourth straight session as the safe-haven yen weakened amid continued optimism about easing of lockdowns in some pandemic-hit economies.

The Nikkei 225 Index rose 81.98 points, or 0.4 percent, to 22,695.74, while the broader Topix closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,603.82.

Exporters ended on a mixed note. Honda Motor, Toyota and Sony rose between 0.6 percent and 1.6 percent, while Canon dropped 1 percent and Nissan Motor fell 2.1 percent.

Airlines lost ground, with Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings falling 1 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Australian markets gained ground after the country's prime minister unveiled a fourth stimulus package worth A$680 million ($471 million) to repair an economy that is now in its first recession in 29 years.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 50.20 points, or 0.8 percent, to finish at 5,991.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 47.10 points, or 0.8 percent, at 6,112.

Lender Westpac rose 1.3 percent after releasing the findings of an investigation into its money laundering and child exploitation scandal.

The other three big banks gained between 1.2 percent and 2.4 percent, while Credit Corp Group advanced 1.6 percent and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank jumped 2.8 percent.

Energy companies Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Oil Search and Beach Energy dropped 1-3 percent as oil prices fell in Asian trading on uncertainty about when OPEC would meet.

Gold miners Evolution and Newcrest shed around 3 percent after gold prices hit a more than three-week low overnight.

On the data front, Australia posted a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$8.800 billion in April, a government report showed, down 16 percent from the previous month.

The total value of retail sales in Australia tumbled by a seasonally adjusted 17.7 percent sequentially in April, another report showed.

Seoul stocks rose a day after the government unveiled the country's largest supplementary budget to revive the economy amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The benchmark Kospi inched up 4.18 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,151.18.

South Korea had a current account deficit of $3.12 billion in April, the Bank of Korea said in a report. That follows the downwardly revised surplus of $5.95 billion in March (originally $6.23 billion). The goods account surplus narrowed to $0.82 billion, compared to $5.61 billion in April.

New Zealand shares rose sharply, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index ending up 104.53 points, or 0.9 percent, at 11,222.80. Tourism Holdings shares surged 7.8 percent and New Zealand Refining Company soared 8.8 percent.

U.S. stocks rallied overnight after data showed fewer job losses than expected in the private sector in May and the service sector's business activity contracted at a slower pace in the month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 2.1 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 1.4 percent to reach three-month closing highs, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.8 percent.

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