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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks advance as Chinese, South Korean equities rebound

China Life Insurance, Korea Aerospace among major gainers

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan edged higher on Tuesday aided by a rebound in Chinese and South Korean companies, as investors awaited U.S.-China trade developments and the Federal Reserve's monetary policy review.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index rose 0.12% to 1,311.19. Korea Aerospace Industries gained 4.1% after reporting a more than three-fold increase in June-quarter operating profit. Samsung Electronics advanced 1% and its peer SK Hynix added 2.5%. South Korea's benchmark index closed 0.45% higher after falling to two-month lows on Monday.

Trade talks between the U.S. and China resumed in Shanghai on Tuesday after negotiations had broken down earlier this year. Following the breakdown, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at the sidelines of the G20 gathering last month and agreed to recommence the talks. Following that meeting, the U.S. suspended its plan to impose tariffs on more Chinese goods.

The officials of the two countries have held discussions on the phone following the truce at G20. The meeting in Shanghai will be their first in-person meeting after the talks collapsed in May.

An index of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong advanced 0.35% on Tuesday, ending a two-day losing run. China Life Insurance rose 1.5% after the company said it expects its first-half net profit to more than double from a year earlier. Tencent Holdings added 0.3%, while China Construction Bank led lenders higher, rising 0.3%.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve meets later Tuesday to decide whether to cut interest rates or not. An at-least quarter percentage rate cut is a near certainty and there is a 1-in-4 chance for a 50-basis-points reduction.

The outcome of the Fed meeting is due on Wednesday, after Asian markets close.

Amid the expected interest rate cut by the Fed, the Bank of Japan earlier Tuesday left the short-term interest rate at -0.1%, maintained the 10-year yield target at 0%, and preserved its forward guidance. The central bank is committed to keeping current ultra-low interest rates "for an extended period of time, at least through around spring 2020."

In other movers on the A300 on Tuesday, Apple suppliers were mostly lower ahead of the iPhone maker's earnings. Largan Precision declined 1.9%, Pegatron dropped 1.8%, and Hon Hai Precision Industry fell 0.8%.

Hong Kong-based real estate group Hang Lung Properties rose 1% despite reporting a 25% decline in its net profit for the first half of 2019 from the year earlier.

Singaporean conglomerate Sembcorp Industries closed 1.2% lower. Its unit Sembcorp Marine, the world's second-largest builder of offshore rigs, declined 4.9% after posting a net loss of S$8.5 million ($6.2 million) for the three months ended June.

Singapore Airlines rose 0.4%. The company's low-cost arm Scoot will add 16 new Airbus A321neo Aircraft to its fleet to support its growth plan and boost fuel cost savings.

-- Nimesh Vora

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