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Sept. 30, 2019, 11:16 p.m. EDT

Asian markets rise ahead of Australia interest-rate announcement

Nikkei rises as sales tax rises; markets closed in Hong Kong, mainland China

By Marketwatch and Associated Press

A Sydney businessman walks into the light outside the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Asian markets gained in early trading Tuesday following muted gains on Wall Street.

Investors awaited an announcement from Australia’s central bank later in the day, with investors expecting a 25-basis-point interest-rate cut.

Japan’s Nikkei (NIKKEI:JP:NIK)   rose 0.7% as the national sales tax was raised by 2 percentage points, despite worries that it could derail the country’s economic recovery and bring on recession. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had previously postponed the hike, but said it had to be raised to cover rising health costs and national debt.

Markets in Hong Kong and mainland China were closed for a weeklong National Day holiday, celebrating 70 years of Communist rule in China.

South Korea’s Kospi (KOREA:KR:180721)   gained 0.4%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan (TAIWAN:TW:Y9999)   and Singapore (SES:SG:STI)   rose about 1%, while stocks were about flat in Indonesia (INDONESIA:ID:JAKIDX)  . Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 (S&P:AU:XJO)   advanced 0.3%.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank (TKS:JP:9984)   gained in Tokyo trading, along with Toyota (TKS:JP:7203)   and Nintendo (TKS:JP:7974)  . LG Electronics (KRX:KR:066570)   and Hyundai Motor (KRX:KR:005380)   slipped in South Korea while Taiwan Semiconductor (TAI:TW:2330)   rose in Taiwan. In Australia, Oil Search   fell.

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