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Asia300

Technology supports Nikkei Asia300 on week as oil skids

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) - Asian stocks ended the week higher helped by gains in technology stocks, even as investors digested MSCI's inclusion of China's domestic shares into its global indexes and grappled with weakening oil prices.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index ended unchanged at 1,247.86 points on Friday, but rose 0.7% for the week. Samsung Electronics added 4.5% this week in Seoul for its best weekly performance since April, while Tencent Holdings rose 2.7% in Hong Kong and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing advanced 2.6% in Taipei. Technology stocks tracked gains on the Nasdaq Composite in recent sessions, which has risen 1.4% this week till Thursday.

Regional energy producers came under pressure after U.S. crude prices officially entered bear territory as an ongoing global glut showed no signs of easing despite coordinated output cuts by major oil producers. Sapura Energy slumped almost 15% in Kuala Lumpur this week, its worst weekly performance since August 2015. PetroChina shed 2.4% and China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) lost 1.9% in Hong Kong. Oil & Natural Gas Corp. fell 5.3% in Mumbai, chalking up its sixth straight weekly loss.

The country gauge for China added 1.2% on week. Investor reaction to MSCI's inclusion of China's domestic yuan-denominated shares into its global indexes was muted as the move was widely expected and will be effective next year.

Hong Kong's index rose 0.7%.

The Nikkei Asia300 Singapore Index slipped 0.9%. Global Logistic Properties lost 5.3% on Friday, ending the week 4% lower. The warehouse-operator's stock came under pressure on Friday after the Financial Times reported, citing sources, that the company's preferred bidders were backing out. However, GLP later put out a statement saying it remains in talks with short-listed bidders.

Malaysia's gauge slid 1.5%, as the slump in crude prices weighed on the oil-exporting nation's assets.

In the rest of Southeast Asia, Indonesia's gauge rose 2% this week, the Philippines's gauge shed 2.7% and Thailand's index ended little changed.

South Korea's gauge added 0.6%, helped by gains in heavyweight Samsung.

Taiwan's gauge jumped 2.4%. Taiwan's export orders for May jumped 9.1%, official data released Tuesday showed, handily beating the 6.9% increase analysts polled by Reuters were expecting.

Hon Hai Precision Industry or Foxconn rose 1.3% on Friday and jumped 7.1% this week. The contract chipmaker plans to invest more than $10 billion in a display-making factory in the U.S., Reuters reported, citing its Chief Executive Terry Gou.

India's index ended little changed for the week as investors await the implementation of a nationwide Goods and Services Tax on July 1. Reliance Industries added 3.4% during the week amid ongoing optimism about its telecoms unit.

--Nimesh Vora and V. Phani Kumar

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