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=ASIA MARKETS: Nikkei Asia300 Index Extends Gains As Wall Street Recovers

NEW DELHI (Feb 13) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan advanced for a second day as a global equity selloff sparked by a pullback in U.S. equities last week abated.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index rose 1.1% to 1,414.30 on Tuesday, extending Monday’s 0.6% advance after a 7.5% slump last week.

Gains in Asia came after U.S. indexes extended their recovery from a week-long selloff that wiped an estimated $2 trillion off U.S. market capitalization earlier this month, according to Reuters. U.S. Treasury yields are hovering near multi-year highs as investors grow concerned about the specter of rising interest rates in the developed world after the Federal Reserve signaled its intention to tighten policy further amid accelerating inflation. U.S. retail inflation numbers for January are due Wednesday.

“The stock market has recovered this morning but is yet to exhibit signs of bargain hunting exuberance,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. “Higher-than-expected inflation could send bond yields higher and provide equity markets with another scare. However, a lower-than-expected CPI read is likely to leave markets uncertain for some time, even if there is a positive knee jerk response.”

South Korean electronics giant and heavyweight Samsung Electronics jumped 4% after rising 2.3% on Monday following a 12% slump last week. The Nikkei Asia300 South Korea Index rose 2.1% to lead gains in the region.

Ping An Insurance Group climbed 3.7%, trimming losses for the month so far to 11.1%. The company reported a 22% increase in accumulated gross premium income for its life insurance business in January. China Shenhua Energy added 0.7% despite reporting a 3.5% decrease in commercial coal production for January to 24.6 million tons.

Henderson Land Development climbed 1.1% in Hong Kong after Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group, controlled by the acquisitive airline-to-property major HNA Holding Group, said two of its funds agreed to sell their ownership in two land parcels in the city to property major Henderson Land for HK$15.96 billion ($2.04 billion).

SAIC Motor rose 1.9% in Shanghai. U.S. automaker General Motors said it will close one of its four plants in South Korea. GM controls 77% in GM Korea, while South Korea's state-run development bank owns 17% and SAIC Motor holds 6%.

The country gauges of Hong Kong and China rose 1.5% and 1.6%, respectively.

Hong Kong’s equity markets will be closed from Friday through Monday for Chinese New Year holidays, while China’s financial markets will remain shut from Thursday through Feb. 21. Taiwan’s markets are closed from Tuesday to Feb. 20. Indian financial markets were closed on Tuesday for a local holiday.

The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies climbed 0.8%.

- By Suzannah Benjamin;; 91-77-66767707
- Edited By Vipin Nair
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