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Asian shares oscillate after five-day rally

Asian shares oscillate after five-day rally

Asian shares oscillated between gains and losses on Monday, after a five-day winning streak, as health-care stocks advanced while banks slid with consumer companies.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped less than 0.1% to 148 as of 10:31 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index was little changed and South Korea’s Kospi index declined 0.3%.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.2%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, Singapore’s Straits Times Index and Taiwan’s Taiex Index fell 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1%.

Shares rallied last week as investors weighed earnings, Ukraine developments and economic data that fuelled bets central banks will maintain stimulus.

Over the weekend, foreign ministers of Ukraine and Russia began talks in Berlin as European leaders push for an end to the conflict.

Meanwhile, the US widened its airstrikes on Iraq and used bombers for the first time since the offensive began on 8 August to help secure the country’s largest dam near Mosul that had been seized by insurgents.

In company news, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co. soared 15% as sources said Roche Holding AG is in talks to buy the almost 40% of the Japanese firm it doesn’t already own.

National Australia Bank Ltd. slid 1.4% after the nation’s largest lender by assets said it will set aside more than $410 million for compensation related to UK insurance and hedging products.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. fell 0.4% in Singapore after Southeast Asia’s second-biggest bank by assets said it plans to raise S$3.37 billion ($2.7 billion) selling shares.

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