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Asian shares gain as Chinese manufacturing expands

Asian shares gain as Chinese manufacturing expands

Asian shares gained on Monday in morning trade after a report showed Chinese manufacturing beat economists’ estimates in June.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.5% to 145 as of 10:13 a.m. in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1%.

Japan’s Topix index added 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.8%, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index lost 0.4%. Taiwan’s Taiex index advanced 0.2% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index increased 0.1%.

A HSBC Holdings Plc/Markit Ltd. preliminary index of factory activity for China was at 50.8 for June, up from 49.4 in May.

Investors are also watching geopolitical risks in Iraq and Ukraine. Gunmen fighting Iraqi forces seized more territory along the country’s borders with Jordan and Syria as US President Barack Obama warned that advances by militants could spill over into neighboring countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed support for a cease-fire declared by his Ukrainian counterpart, calling for all sides to halt military activities even as he put more than 65,000 troops on combat alert.

In corporate news, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., an Australian iron-ore miner that get almost all of its revenue in China, climbed 5.7% as materials producers led gains on the regional index.

Olympus Corp., a Japanese optical-equipment maker, surged 5.8% after Citigroup Inc. said it quarterly operating profit is likely to increase.

Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. added 2.8% in Sydney after saying it will bid with two Hong Kong-based companies to develop a new casino in Australia.

In commodities, Brent crude LCOc1 stood at $114.95 per barrel, not far off the nine-month high of $115.71 hit on Thursday.

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