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Asia300

Shares gain despite profit drop as worst seen over

HONG KONG -- Asustek Computer shares advanced Tuesday for the first time in four trading days despite a fall in profits for fiscal 2015, as investors perceived that bad news has run its course.

     The stock rose 0.93% to close at 272 New Taiwan dollars.

     Net profit for the fiscal year ended in December sank 12% to NT$17.09 billion ($515 million), while sales edged up 0.1% to NT$436.51 billion, the Taiwanese company said after the closing bell Monday.

     Sales of the ZenFone smartphone line rose sharply in the July-September quarter, Taiwanese media reported Tuesday. But foreign exchange losses apparently ate into profit as currencies of emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia and China softened against the dollar. Group sales climbed 0.9% on the year to NT$35.29 billion in January.

     Asustek makes computers under its own brand and has expanded into smartphones as well.

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