Japan May Trade Deficit Y203.367 Billion

Japan's trade surplus with the U.S.in May rose 19.0% to Y411.1 billion, rising for the first time in three months. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.9 percent.

Exports were up 14.9% on year to 5.851 trillion yen, shy of expectations for a gain of 16.0% following the 7.5% gain in the previous month. That resulted in a trade deficit of 203.4 billion yen in May, the first red in four months, the ministry said.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.6 percent. The gains in Asia reversed the trend set on Friday on Wall Street, where the indices ended the week relatively flat after weaker-than-expected housing starts and consumer confidence data and the news that Amazon will be purchasing Whole Foods, the health-conscious supermarket chain an announcement that shook the tech sector. Nomura had maintained its "Buy" call on SK Hynix.

Nomura said there was now a lower risk of oversupply from the chip manufacturer, as the prospects for the company finalising a deal with ailing Japanese firm Toshiba were also better, according to analysts.

The British pound fell nearly 0.1 per cent to $1.2769 from late Friday levels in NY after a van rammed into worshippers as they were leaving Finsbury Park mosque in North London early on Monday.

It's understood a rented van drove through a crowd outside a mosque just after midnight, as worshippers would have been leaving in droves after the Taraweeh - nightly prayers during Ramadan.

The pound slipped with formal negotiations on the UK's exit from the European Union due to start. Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.53%, on strength from its utilities and financials sub-indexes.

Australian shares .AXJO added 0.3 percent and South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 rose 0.4 percent.

US crude slipped 0.25 percent to $44.65 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent dropped 0.2 percent to $47.29.

It was a mixed picture for the down under dollars, with the Kiwi last strengthening 0.32% to NZD 1.3747 against the greenback, while the Aussie lost 0.15% to last sit at AUD 1.3144.

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