Asian markets mostly rise, as Nikkei logs 5th straight gain

Asian markets mostly rise, as Nikkei logs 5th straight gain

Samsung leads Kospi’s gains, while stocks in China go limp

Asian stock markets mostly rose Thursday as investors set aside trade concerns, for now, to focus on tech-share and financial-stock moves.

Japanese stocks were subjected to muted trading, with the Nikkei NIK, +0.01% up less than 0.1% after consecutive gains of more than 1% on Tuesday and Wednesday. Still, the index managed a fifth straight gain. The dollar USDJPY, +0.18% remained around ¥112.30 during Asian trading hours, little changed compared to late in U.S. trading. The banking and insurance sectors led gains, with Dai-ichi Life 8750, +1.69% up 1.7% and Mitsubishi UFJ 8306, +1.62% up 1.6%.

Hong Kong stocks started strongly, again, though pulled back by the close. The Hang Seng HSI, +0.26% finished up 0.2% as Tencent 0700, +0.81% rose 0.8% and was up as much as 2% earlier, as the company continued to buy back stock. Insurer Ping An 2318, +0.52% — which has notable tech holdings — rose 0.5%. Elsewhere, smartphone-component makers AAC 2018, +1.07% and Sunny Optical 2382, +0.63% rose.

Mainland China stocks were about flat, with the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.06% giving way to sellers, down less than 0.1% the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.22% alternating between slight gains and losses before falling 0.2%.

Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.65% was up 0.6% after being one of the few indexes to fall Wednesday. Samsung 005930, +2.38% was up a further 2.4%.

The benchmarks in Australia XJO, -0.33% fell and New Zealand NZ50GR, +0.17% fell slightly initially though finished up nearly 0.2%, while Taiwan Y9999, -0.24% , Singapore STI, +0.12% and Malaysia FBMKLCI, +0.17% were mixed throughout the session.

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