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Asian stocks mostly advance on final trading day of Q3

Mainland markets up

China’s Shanghai Composite index nudged up 0.5 percent, in line with the stabilization region-wide, as fears surrounding the country’s economic health ebbed.

Among gainers, brokerage houses such as Citic Securities and Haitong Securities surged 3.5 and 1.8 percent respectively. PetroChina — the heaviest weighted stock in the Shanghai index — inched up 0.2 percent following a 2 percent tumble in the previous trading session.

Among the other indexes, the benchmark CSI300 Index notched up 0.8 percent. By contrast, small-caps underperformed with the smaller Shenzhen Composite ticking up 0.2 percent while the start-up ChiNext board eased 0.6 percent.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index recovered some lost ground in early trade, rising 0.9 percent.

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ASX gains 0.8%

Australia’s S&P ASX 200 index moved away from Tuesday’s two-year closing low, thanks to advances among banking heavyweights and miners.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia led gains in the banking sector, surging 2 percent from the get-go. Investment firm Macquarie Group climbed 0.9 percent and QBE Insurance gained 0.5 percent.

Market bellwether BHP Billiton rose 1.3 percent, clawing back nearly one-sixth of Tuesday’s slump. Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals also advanced 2 and 4.9 percent respectively, as bargain hunting and short-covering bets helped to offset weaker iron ore prices overnight.

However, a mixed performance among energy producers limited the index’s advances. Santos and Oil Search remained mired in the red, down 6.5 and 1.2 percent respectively, while Woodside Petroleum gained nearly 2 percent.

Shares of Origin Energy halted trading on Wednesday after the power and gas retailer said on Tuesday that it would raise $ 2.5 billion Australian dollars ($ 1.8 billion) from a sale of new shares, sell assets and cut its dividend to shore up its balance sheet.

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Kospi sags 0.5%

South Korea’s Kospi index headed south early Wednesday, as it played catch-up to its regional peers after being shut for the previous sessions due to the Chuseok holiday.

However, the Seoul bourse more than halved losses by mid-morning trade to pick itself off a near three-week low.

While steelmaker Posco plunged 2.3 percent, the bourse’s top two weighted stocks Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor narrowed declines to 0.6 percent each.

Among other early-trade underperformers in the region, Singapore’s Straits Times index and Taiwan’s weighted index ticked down 0.2 percent each.

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