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Asian Shares Rise Ahead Of Brexit Talks

Asian stocks rose broadly on Monday as weaker-than-expected U.S. housing and consumer sentiment data tempered expectations for a spate of interest rate increases this year and French voters gave President Emmanuel Macron’s upstart party a solid victory in Sunday’s second-round election.

Macron’s party won a clear parliamentary majority at the weekend, giving him a strong mandate in parliament to pursue his pro-EU, business-friendly reform plans.

Brexit negotiations with the European Union are set to begin today
after Britain bowed to EU pressure for a formal opening to their long-awaited negotiations rather than first holding technical talks between civil servants.

Chinese stocks rose as liquidity conditions have eased and data showed the property market continued to stabilize in May after stricter measures to curb demand.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index climbed 21.21 points or 0.68 percent to 3,144.37 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 298 points or 1.16 percent at 25,924 in late trade.

Japanese shares hit two-week highs amid yen weakness as data showed Japan saw a surprise trade deficit in May because of a rise in imports. The Nikkei average gained 124.49 points or 0.62 percent to finish at 20,067.75, its highest level since June 5, while the broader Topix index closed 0.63 percent higher at 1,606.07.

Sony, DeNA, Toshiba, Advantest, Komatsu and Sumco were among the prominent gainers. Nomura Real Estate Holdings slumped as much as 13.8 percent after saying a stake purchase in the company by Japan Post was no longer being considered. Troubled airbag maker Takata plunged 16.5 percent on reports it was planning to file for bankruptcy.

Australian shares closed higher as strength in the financial sector outweighed weakness in the retail sector after Amazon bought an American grocery chain. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 31.20 points or 0.54 percent to 5,805.20, while the broader All Ordinaries closed up 27.50 points or 0.47 percent at 5,835.50.

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