Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Thursday as fears over trade disputes abated and remarks by a European Central Bank board member eased worries about the new Italian government's spending plans.

The euro rose against the dollar after the ECB indicated it will discuss ending its bond purchasing program at a meeting next week. Oil inched higher after falling yesterday on supply worries, while gold rose on dollar weakness.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed 197.53 points or 0.9 percent to 22,823.26 on receding worries about a full-blown global trade war. The broader Topix Index closed 0.6 percent higher at 1,789.01.

Exporters Honda Motor, Toyota and Panasonic rallied 1-3 percent, while lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial gained 1.4 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial advanced 0.8 percent.

Australian shares closed higher for a second consecutive session, led by mining and energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index rose 32.20 points or 0.5 percent to 6,057.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 32 points or 0.5 percent at 6,169.40.

Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rallied over 2 percent after China's iron ore futures hit a two-week high.

Energy stocks also gained ground despite oil prices finishing down over 1 percent overnight on worries over rising supply. Woodside Petroleum, Origin Energy, Beach Energy and Santos jumped 1-4 percent.

Banks ANZ and Westpac rose 0.8 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, while wealth manager AMP, which is facing a fourth shareholder class action over the scandals revealed at the banking royal commission, tumbled 3 percent.

Chicken producer Inghams Group slumped 9 percent on news that its chief executive Mick McMahon is leaving the company.

In economic news, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed that the construction sector in Australia continued to expand in May, albeit at a slower pace. Another report showed that Australia's foreign trade surplus decreased in April, led by a drop in exports.

Meanwhile, Chinese shares closed slightly lower, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edging down 6.20 points or 0.2 percent to 3,109.50. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 253.33 points or 0.8 percent to finish at 31,512.63.

Seoul stocks gained ground as steelmakers rallied on optimism over global growth. The benchmark Kospi gained 0.7 percent to finish at 2,470.58, while steelmakers Posco and Hyundai Steel ended up 4.4 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX-50 index climbed 1 percent, and the Taiwan Weighted added half a percent.

Singapore's Straits Times index was little changed while benchmark indexes in India, Indonesia and Malaysia were up between half a percent and 1.1 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks extended their winning streak to a fourth straight session, with banks leading the way as bond prices in the U.S. and Europe fell on expectations of higher interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 1.4 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.9 percent to reach their best closing levels in nearly three months, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7 percent to hit another record closing high.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

Market AnalysisBB

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