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Asia stocks mixed after China cuts growth target

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5%, after last week posting its biggest weekly rally since December.

Asia stocks mixed after China cuts growth target

Asian stock markets fluctuated, following the biggest three-week advance since 2009, after China’s move to cut its economic growth target and a surge in US hiring.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.1% to 126 as of noon in Tokyo, swinging from a 0.3% gain. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5%, after last week posting its biggest weekly rally since December.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 1%, while New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index was little changed. South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.2%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.8%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 0.4%. Japan’s Topix index fell 0.8% after the gauge capped its best three weeks since 2014.

China's new economic targets for 2016, released on Saturday at the National People's Congress meeting, included a revised growth target of between 6.5% and 7%, a consumer price index growth target of around 3% and a budget deficit at 3% of gross domestic product, Reuters reported.

Chinese infrastructure stocks were mixed, with China Communications Construction down 1%, while China Railway Construction and China Railway Group were up 2.21% and 1.64%, respectively.

Down Under, miners gained broadly, with Rio Tinto up 3.32%, BHP Billiton up 5.26% and Fortescue adding 11.45%, following gains in base metal prices.

Chinese metal players were also higher, with Baoshan Steel adding 4.45%, Yunnan Copper up by 6.81% and Baotou Steel higher by 2%.

Japanese exporters traded mixed, with Toyota down 2.26% and Nissan adding 0.82%. Energy plays across the region were mixed, with Santos adding 1.03% and Woodside Petroleum up 2.78%.

Japanese oil plays Japan Petroleum, Inpex and Fuji Oil were down between 0.65% and 1.98%. Chinese mainland energy plays were mostly up, with Sinopec adding 3% and China Petroleum up 0.64%.

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