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Nikkei Markets

Nikkei Asia300 Index rises as heavyweight stocks rebound

Country gauges for China and Hong Kong lead gains

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan rose on Monday, as bargain hunters scooped up stocks that have taken a hit amid trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index rose 0.5% to 1,421.93. Seoul-listed heavyweight consumer electronics company Samsung Electronics and Hong Kong-listed social-media major Tencent Holdings rose 1.7% and 1%, respectively, after each posted three consecutive weekly losses. Ping An Insurance Group added 1.1% in Hong Kong after declining in nine of the last 11 days.

Gains on Monday came as equity futures pointed to a stronger opening on Wall Street even as the prospect of a potential trade war between the world's largest economies worried investors. Global stocks have been under pressure lately as the U.S. and China have moved to impose tariffs on imports from the other in recent weeks, stoking fears of a full-blown trade war.

Economists at Morgan Stanley said the U.S. and China potentially imposing tariffs on imports will have mixed effects, but the overall macro impact will likely still be manageable. "US-China trade friction would negatively affect those in the production supply chain feeding into China's exports to the US and vice versa, but export competitors could benefit if China and the US turn to alternative sources due to higher tariffs," Deyi Tan, an economist at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note.

Markets now await a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Bo'ao Forum on Tuesday.

China's country index added 2%. Mainland markets were closed on Thursday and Friday for holidays. Hong Kong's gauge rose 1% on Monday.

In Hong Kong, Great Wall Motor rose 0.9% after the Chinese sports-utility vehicle maker on Sunday reported a 3.3% increase in sales volume for March. It said that while sales of its Haval SUVs fell 18.2% to 59,895 units during the month, sales of other new SUV models helped offset that decline.

BYD climbed 3.2% after the motor-vehicle-and-battery maker on Sunday said its total sales for March were at 43,166 units, including 13,950 new-energy vehicles and 29,216 oil-fueled vehicles. Comparative year-ago figures were not available.

Mainland property developer China Vanke slipped 0.6% following a 20.4% drop in contracted sales for March to 50.68 billion yuan ($8.05 billion).

Mobile phone maker HTC fell 1.6% in Taipei after reporting a 46.7% drop in March sales.

In other country indexes complied by Nikkei, South Korea fell 0.4%, while Taiwan added 0.4%. India's gauge advanced 0.3%.

The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies ended 0.6% higher.

-- V. Phani Kumar

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