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Asia report: Most markets higher, Aussie coal miners suffer

Fri 22 February 2019 11:03 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Most markets in Asia finished the last session of the week in the green, with Chinese stocks leading the charge, although coal plays in Australia were on the back foot following reports of a ban from Beijing.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.18% at 21,425.51, as the yen strengthened 0.03% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 110.67.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was 1.91% higher at 2,804.23, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite rose 2.28% to 1,477.25.

South Korea's Kospi eked out gains of 0.08% to close at 2,230.50, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was 0.65% higher at 28,816.30.

Technology giant Samsung Electronics was up 0.43% in Seoul, as investors continued to show cautious positivity around the launch of the firm's new line of Galaxy S10 smartphones.

Oil prices were higher as the region entered the weekend, with Brent crude last up 0.68% at $67.53 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate adding 1.28% to $57.70.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.46% to 6,167.30, although coal miners were on the back foot after a report overnight that China was banning the import of Australia coal in its port of Dalian.

BHP was down 0.42% in Sydney trading, while New Hope Corporation lost 3.55% and Yancoal was off 2.8%.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 managed to rise 0.1% to 9,309.21, led higher by independent dairy producer Synlait Milk, which was up 3.3%.

Both of the down under dollars were stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.57% at AUD 1.4024, and the Kiwi advancing 0.41% to NZD 1.4641.

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