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Asian shares rise as Chinese manufacturing expands

Asian shares advanced on Monday in morning trade after a gauge of China’s manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in five months and the country’s policymakers said they will cut the reserve requirement ratio for some banks.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4% to 142 as of 10:56 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index advanced 1.3% as Makita climbed 5.8% to 5,870 yen. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.1%.

China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.8 in May, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday in Beijing, the highest level since December and topping the median economist estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

China’s economy is likely to grow 7.3% this year, which would be the weakest pace since 1990, according to an analysts’ survey in May. Expansion slowed to 7.4% in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with 7.7% in the previous period.

In Thailand, the ruling junta deployed thousands of soldiers in central Bangkok on Sunday to counter protests from groups opposed to the 22 May coup, two days after its leader General Prayuth Chan-Ocha called for unity.

In corporate news, Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. jumped 40% in Sydney after saying it will sell energy permits for the Browse Basin, off Australia’s west coast, to Origin Energy Ltd.

Makita Corp. led industrial shares higher, rising 5.8% in Tokyo. Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. sank 4.2%, leading losses on the regional benchmark index, after the Nikkei reported the Japanese firm is preparing to buy Protective Life Corp. for more than $4.9 billion to expand in the US.

Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd. sank 8.5% as the unprofitable low-fare carrier part owned by Singapore Airlines Ltd. said it is considering a fundraising plan to improve liquidity.

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