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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks post weekly advance amid earnings season

China Mobile, CapitaLand and Hang Seng Bank end week higher after results

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan ended higher for the week as upbeat corporate earnings overshadowed intensifying trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index rose 1.2% for the week although it fell 1.1% to 1,323.68 on Friday. In Hong Kong, China Mobile and Hang Seng Bank climbed 3.8% and 3.3%, respectively, while Singaporean real estate company CapitaLand and Malaysian glove maker Hartalega Holdings advanced 6.1% and 7.3% following their April-to-June quarter results. On Friday, China Mobile rose 0.8%, while Hang Seng Bank shed 3.5%. CapitaLand and Hartalega rose 0.3% and 3.5%, respectively.

The week's gains came even as the trade row between the U.S. and China escalated this week, after Washington announced plans to impose a 25% tariff on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated with similar measures. Market participants are betting that the broader impact from the trade war on China's economy may not be as bad as feared.

"We do not believe - other than in the equity markets - there are any real signs of a slowdown in the Chinese economy," Michael Parker, a strategist at Bernstein, wrote in a note. "We think that concern about trade and tariffs is the far greater contributor to equity market weakness."

Bets that Chinese authorities will boost infrastructure spending to support growth in Asia's largest economy also helped sentiment. Data showed this week that China's exports grew at a faster-than-expected pace in July despite the first round of punitive Sino-American trade tariffs, which took effect last month.

Technology heavyweights Tencent Holdings and Samsung Electronics retreated 0.7% and 3.2%, respectively, weighing on the Nikkei gauge on Friday. Both stocks had advanced for the last five consecutive days.

China Overseas Land & Investment climbed 2.6% after saying its contracted property sales for July rose 36.6% to 23.05 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.94 billion).

Hong Kong metro rail operator MTR slid 2.2% after reporting a 5.3% decline in first-half net profit and a 12.1% decrease in revenue.

Electronics products maker Pegatron climbed 3.5% in Taipei following a 10.4% increase in July.

Jet Airways India slid 8.4% in Mumbai after the airline said it will postpone its first-quarter earnings announcement as auditors were yet to sign off on it.

-- V. Phani Kumar

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