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Asian Stock Markets Largely Rise Following Wall Street's Rally, With Japan's Nikkei 225 Gaining 1.1%

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Last updated: 06/26/2020 07:19:28

07:19 AM EDT, 06/26/2020 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets generally rose Friday, finding upside support in the wake of Wall Street's rally late into its trading session overnight. Tokyo shares gained along with other regional markets but Hong Kong stocks pulled back. Shanghai trading was closed for a holiday.

Wall Street finished in the green Thursday after US financial regulators moved to ease some rules placed on banks after the global financial crisis. The changes include relaxing some restrictions on derivatives trading and allowing banks to invest in venture capital funds.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 finished up by 1.1%. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda reportedly said Friday he is "cautiously optimistic" about gradual recovery in the Japanese economy during the second half of 2020 but signaled the central bank stands ready to accelerate stimulus efforts if needed during the COVID-19 crisis.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 252.29 to 22,512.08, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 181 to 37.

Leading the upside was IT giant Fujitsu (FJTSY, 6702:Tokyo), up 5.1%, followed by Mitsubishi Logistics (9301:Tokyo), up 4.3%. Auto parts supplier Denso (DNZOY, 6902:Tokyo) also rose 4.3%.

On the downside were satellite TV service Sky Perfect (SKPJY, 9412:Tokyo), off 4.9%, and Nippon Sheet Glass (NPSGY, 5202:Tokyo), off 2.8%.

The Nikkei 225 is down 4.8% year-to-date.

In other news, Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo (4568:Tokyo) is in talks with UK-based AstraZeneca (AZN) about providing supplies of a potential COVID-19 vaccine for use in Japan, according to a Reuters report. The vaccine is being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index opened lower Friday after Thursday's holiday break, then finished down by 0.9% as investors booked profits on new economy giants such as Tencent Holdings and weighed the outlook for the global economy under the specter of COVID-19.

The Hang Seng fell 231.59 to 24,549.99, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 42 to six.

On the downside were telecom companies China Mobile (941:HK) and China Unicom (762:HK), down 2.9% and 2.7%, respectively. Meanwhile, Tencent (700:HK) fell 1.2%.

But gainers were led by smartphone components maker Sunny Optical Technology (2382:HK), up 5.4%. CSPC Pharmaceuticals (1093:HK) rose 4.9%, and Geely Automobile (175:HK) picked up 2.9%.

The Hang Seng is off 12.8% year-to-date.

On the mainland, exchanges remained closed on holiday.

In other news, non-Chinese companies such as Apple (AAPL) that import products from China into India could be spared the recently imposed 100% physical check of shipments from China, according to Indian newspaper The Economic Times. The scrutiny of Chinese imports, which has resulted in Chinese goods piling up at ports, follows border hostilities between India and China.

In other markets, the South Korean Kospi rose 1.1%; the Taiwan TWSE gained 0.4%; the Australian ASX 200 picked up 1.5%; the Singapore Straits Times Index added on 0.6%, and the Thai Set edged up 0.3%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.9%.

The MSCI Asia Apex 50, a broad measure of large-cap Asian stocks outside Japan, slipped 0.2%.

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