Asian Shares Rise Despite U.S.-China Tensions

Asian stocks closed higher on Tuesday as investors shrugged off worries about U.S.-China tensions as well as data that showed the Japanese economy shrank more than initially estimated in the second quarter. With the U.S. markets closed overnight for a public holiday, investors took cues from the rally in European markets.

Shares in China and Hong Kong rebounded after four days of losses as investors brushed aside U.S. President Donald Trump’s anti-China rhetoric. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 23.83 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 3,316.42, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 40.14 points, or 0.2 percent, to settle at 24,629.79.

Japanese shares rose after two days of losses, following the overnight gains in European markets and despite data showing that Japan’s economy contracted more than initially estimated in the second quarter.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index advanced 184.18 points, or 0.8 percent, to settle at 23,274.13, while the broader Topix added 11.15 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 1,620.89.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group Corp. declined 0.6 percent, while Fast Retailing rose 1.8 percent. Panasonic advanced 1.3 percent and Sony added 0.5 percent.

The Australian market extended gains from the previous session amid optimism regarding potential coronavirus vaccines and following data that showed an improvement in Australia’s business confidence in August.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 63.00 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 6,007.80, while the broader All Ordinaries Index advanced 60.30 points, or 1.0 percent, to settle at 6,190.20.

Among the major miners, Fortescue Metals gained 3.5 percent Rio Tinto rose 1.4 percent and BHP Group added 0.9 percent as iron ore futures rose.

In the banking sector, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ Banking advanced in a range of 1.3 percent to 1.7 percent.

In economic news, survey data from the National Australia Bank showed that Australia’s business confidence improved in August, while business conditions weakened from the previous month. The business confidence index rose to -8 from -14 in July. Although confidence rose in the month, it remained very weak and likely fragile.

Seoul stocks also rose for a second straight day, reflecting gains by tech stocks. The benchmark Kospi added 17.69 points, or 0.7 percent, to finish at 2,401.91.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 3.1 percent and chipmaker SK Hynix advanced 1.3 percent.

New Zealand shares also extended gains from the previous session. The benchmark NZX 50 Index rose 36.18 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 11,895.63. Telecom infrastructure company Chorus gained 5.2 percent, while Briscoe Group gained 2.7 percent after reporting its first-half results.

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