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Asia300

Chinese companies, French relief boost Nikkei Asia300 Index

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside Japan rose Tuesday, helped by a rebound in Chinese companies and as pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron's win in the French presidential elections resonated with investors.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index added 0.6% to 1,206.79 points. India's Godrej Consumer Products surged 10% after saying net profit for the March quarter more than tripled.

Macron's victory over his far-right rival Marine Le Pen on Sunday eased fears of France's possible exit from the European Union, boosting risk appetite across the globe. The 316-stock gauge rose 0.7% on Monday and is up more than 3% since the first round of French elections had pointed toward a win for Macron.

Mainland insurers China Life Insurance added 2.6% and Ping An Insurance Group rose 1.7% after China's 10-year government bond yield climbed to levels not seen since July 2015. China's country index rose 1.3% to 1,123.84, and Hong Kong's gauge also added 1.3%.

Sentiment for Chinese equities has taken a hit in recent sessions as authorities' efforts to rein in speculation threaten to hamper liquidity. A clutch of tepid economic data has also raised concerns about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

"China's growth story is looking very positive, but this may not benefit investors. Policy measures to deter speculative activities and reduce financial system risk are starting to have an effect," Tim Condon, head of research at ING Asia, wrote in a note. "However, this may help to boost asset prices elsewhere."

The country gauge for Taiwan rose 0.5% to 1,333.34. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co added 0.5%. Shortly after markets closed, the contract chipmaker said its board approved capital expenditure of 38 billion Taiwan dollars ($1.26 billion).

Cellphone maker HTC plunged 7.2% after reporting a T$2 billion first-quarter net loss.

South Korean markets were closed for presidential elections are former president Park Geun-hye was ousted amid corruption charges. Exit polls conducted by local television channels reportedly point toward a victory for liberal candidate Moon Jae-in.

Malaysia's index ended little changed. Glove maker Hartalega Holdings soared 4.9% after reporting a 45% jump in fourth-quarter net profit due to higher sales, improved operational efficiency and lower overhead costs. Rival Top Glove rose at least 3% each Tuesday.

Neighboring city-state Singapore's gauge added 0.5%. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp, the nation's second-largest bank, rose 1.6% after reporting a 14% on-year rise in first-quarter net income, joining rivals DBS Group Holdings and United Overseas Bank in improving its performance for the period. DBS rose 1% on Tuesday. UOB gained 0.5% to climb to multi-month highs.

In the rest of Southeast Asia, indexes for Philippines and Thailand fell 0.3% each, while Vietnam's gauge added 0.3% and Indonesia's ended little changed.

The Nikkei Asia300 India Index added 0.2%. Lenders ICICI Bank and State Bank of India shed at least 0.7% after rising Monday.

--Nimesh Vora and V. Phani Kumar

--Nikkei Markets is a real-time financial news service for South East Asia's markets published by Nikkei NewsRise Asia Pte Ltd, a Nikkei and NewsRise joint venture company. Nikkei Markets provides wide companies coverage in the region, including the Nikkei's Asia300 companies.

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