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Equities

Nikkei Asia300 Index rebounds as energy companies advance

Easing trade war worries buoy stocks in region

MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan recovered Tuesday, buoyed by gains in energy companies, as President Donald Trump's tariff proposals were opposed by a top Republican lawmaker.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index advanced 1.4% to 1,433.90, rebounding from a two-day selloff that had cost the gauge more than 2%. Hong Kong-shares of CNOOC advanced 4.1%, and PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) added at least 2% each after an overnight rally in crude oil prices. Samsung Heavy Industries climbed 3.3% after cutting the size of its planned new share issue to 1.41 trillion won ($1.3 billion) from 1.56 trillion won earlier. Hyundai Heavy Industries jumped 12.6% after reducing its new share issuance to 906.5 billion won from 1.3 trillion won.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended a four-day losing run as investors speculated if Trump would carry forward his threats of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Market participants are hoping that increasing opposition to proposals from several U.S. Republican lawmakers and industry leaders would force Trump to reconsider his plans. The U.S. House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday said he opposed the tariffs and was concerned about the consequences of a trade war.

"Following furious backlash from loyal members of Trump's administration, there is growing optimism that perhaps significant exemptions will be forthcoming," said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading for broker Oanda. "The ink has not dried on the tariff bill, so investors remain guardedly optimistic."

A better-than-expected reading on the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index too provided a helping hand to the recovery in risk sentiment. The ISM said its non-manufacturing activity index stood at 59.5 in February, marginally higher than what economists polled by Bloomberg had forecast.

In economic data released Tuesday, South Korea's consumer prices rose by 1.4% in February, higher than the 1.2% forecast by economists in a Reuters poll.

In country indexes complied by Nikkei, China jumped 2.6%, Hong Kong added 1.7%, and South Korea and Taiwan rose 2% each. India declined 1.1%.

The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies closed 0.3% higher.

--Nimesh Vora

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