HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan advanced for the third straight session on Thursday, boosted by China cutting tariffs on U.S. imports and the S&P 500 Index's record highs.
The Nikkei Asia300 index of companies outside Japan rose 1.8% to 1,372.45, adding to the 3% gain witnessed in previous two sessions. Chinese companies were the biggest contributors to Thursday's advance. Bank of China rose 2.3%, leading lenders higher. China Life Insurance added 3.4% and Tencent Holdings gained 2%. Air China surged 7% to pace the rally among airlines. China Vanke advanced 3% following a 12.3% increase in January contracted sales from a year earlier. An index of Chinese companies in Hong Kong jumped 2.6%.