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Asia shares gain as yen declines

Asia shares gain as yen declines

Asian equities inched higher on Monday in morning session, with a weaker yen supporting Japanese shares, and ahead of Brexit negotiations between the UK and the European Union.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.60% and South Korea's Kospi edged higher by 0.49%. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.53%, on strength from its utilities and financials sub-indexes.

Markets in greater China were in the green, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gaining 1.01%. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite added 0.42% and the Shenzhen Composite rose 0.27%.

South Korean tech stocks trended higher. Shares of Samsung Electronics were up by 1.45% and SK Hynix soared by 2.81%. Nomura had maintained its "Buy" call on SK Hynix.

Shares of Singapore-listed commodity trader Noble Group soared 9.23% after reports that its creditors had extended a critical repayment deadline by four months.

Latest government data showed exports from Japan rose 14.9% on year compared to the 16.1% rise projected by a Reuters poll. Japan's trade balance, however, registered a deficit of 203.4 billion yen ($1.83 billion) compared to the 76 billion yen surplus expected.

In currency market, the euro gave up early gains despite indications French president Emmanuel Macron’s party is poised to win the biggest majority in 15 years.

The pound slipped with formal negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union due to start.

In commodities, oil prices trended lower. Brent crude declined 0.44% to trade at $47.16 a barrel and US crude shed 0.47% to trade at $44.53.

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