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Asian Shares Rise On Recovery Hopes

stockmarkets jan07 19apr21 lt

Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Monday as positive earnings updates and upbeat economic data from the United States boosted optimism about a solid global economic recovery.

Chinese shares led regional gains after China's financial regulator said Huarong Asset Management Co., a distressed-debt manager, had ample liquidity, its first official comments since the company delivered a jolt by missing a deadline to report earnings.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 50.93 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3,477.55, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 136.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to 29,106.15.

Japanese shares ended on a subdued note as the country faced a fourth surge of coronavirus cases before the scheduled opening of the Olympic Games. Upbeat exports data failed to ease worries about the fragile recovery of the world's third-largest economy.

The Nikkei 225 Index gave up early gains to end little changed at 29,685.37, while the broader Topix closed 0.2 percent lower at 1,956.56.

Semiconductor company Sumco jumped 5.7 percent after Japan and the United States agreed last week to cooperate on investment in semiconductor supply chains in response to a global shortage of chips.

Toshiba Corp fell 4.4 percent on a Nikkei report that private equity firm CVC Capital Partners will delay submitting a formal proposal to buy the Japanese industrial group.

Australian markets ended flat with a positive bias as a long-awaited quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand opened.

Banks rose broadly, with Commonwealth climbing 1 percent. Macquarie Group gained 0.7 percent on a Bloomberg report that it is nearing a deal to take Australian waste management company Bingo Industries Ltd. private.

Miners Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto advanced 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Lithium miners Galaxy Resources and Orocobre surged around 6 percent after they entered into a binding merger implementation deed to form the world's fifth-largest lithium miner company valued at A$4 billion (S$4.12 billion).

Sims Metal jumped 9 percent after the metal recycler boosted its full-year earnings guidance on strong scrap prices and cost savings. Origin Energy, Oil Search, Santos and Woodside Petroleum lost 1-2 percent after crude oil prices declined on Friday.

Seoul stocks finished marginally higher, extending gains for the sixth day running on expectations of strong corporate earnings in the January-March season. The benchmark Kospi inched up 0.22 points to 3,198.84. Bio stocks led gainers amid concerns over the fourth wave of the pandemic.

New Zealand shares advanced, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index rising 83.10 points, or 0.7 percent, to 12,767.83, led by travel-related stocks. Auckland International Airport surged 4.7 percent and Air New Zealand added 1.1 percent.

The service sector in New Zealand swung into expansion territory in March, the latest survey from BusinessNZ revealed today, with a Performance of Service Index score of 52.4, up from 49.7 in February.

India's Sensex was down around 2 percent amid fears that a rapid resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the country could disrupt economic recovery.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday as strong earnings and encouraging housing and consumer sentiment data added to optimism about a global economic recovery.

The Dow rose half a percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.4 percent to set new record closing highs, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index edged up marginally.

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