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Asian stocks broadly higher as investors eye to key US, China policy events
Published in Amwal Al Ghad on 17 - 12 - 2018

Stocks in Asia were mostly higher on Monday following a report suggesting further turmoil for the markets in 2019.
Investors were setting their sights on key policy meetings in the coming week — ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's upcoming interest rate meeting and as China on Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the country's reforms under former leader Deng Xiaoping.
President Xi Jinping is expected to deliver a major speech on Monday. It comes as Beijing's trade war with Washington spurs government advisors and think tanks to urge for urgent reforms in Asia's largest economy.
The mainland Chinese markets were mixed by the end of their trading day after the country reported lower than expected economic datalast Friday. The Shanghai composite rose 0.16 percent to close at around 2,597.97 while the Shenzhen composite declined by 0.309 percent to end the trading day at about 1,323.31.
One investor told CNBC's “Squawk Box” on Monday that the bargain hunting for Chinese shares has already started.
“Over the next few months, if there were to be any more weakness in the Chinese market, we think that there will be more investors coming in to buy,” said Khiem Do, head of Greater China investments at Barings. “The Chinese markets are actually quite cheap.”
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was slightly higher in its final hour of trade.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.62 percent to close at 21,506.88 while the Topix index saw gains of 0.13 percent to finish the trading day at 1,594.20. Shares of conglomerate Softbank recovered from earlier losses during the session to gain 0.52 percent ahead of the anticipated public listing of its mobile unit on Dec. 19.
South Korea's Kospi closed fractionally higher at 2,071.09.
Australia's ASX 200 saw gains of 1 percent to close at 5,658.3, with almost all sectors in positive territory.
The heavily-weighted financial subindex, however, slipped 0.11 percent, with shares of Australia's so-called Big Four banks mostly seeing losses. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group dropped 1.57 percent, Westpac shed 0.92 percent and National Australia Bank slipped 0.59 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, on the other hand, recovered from earlier losses to rise 0.65 percent.
“The ‘Santa Rally' which had been hoped for has proven to be frustratingly elusive; and now markets are quite happy, if not desperate, for at least a dovish line to be thrown by the FOMC (and other global central banks),” said Mizuho Bank in a note on Monday, in reference to the U.S. central bank's upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Dec. 18 and 19.


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