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Nvidia, Interest-Rates, Trade Tensions Roil Asian Stock Markets

Asian stock markets were choppy Thursday after the strong earnings report overnight by the US-based AI-chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) boosted some tech issues, but interest-rate concerns and trade tensions undercut China-based issues.

Tokyo finished in the green, but Hong Kong and Shanghai fell back. Other regional exchanges were also mixed, although a fresh all-time record high was struck on India's Sensex index.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened evenly and rose to the close, finishing up 1.3% as traders bought into tech issues after overnight gains by US peers.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 486.12 to 39,103.22, as gaining issues outnumbered losers 145 to 77.

Leading the upside was diversified tech-and-drug enterprise Teijin, gaining 10.3%, while video game-maker Nexon lost 5.6%.

In economic news, the headline flash Japan manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 50.5 in May from 49.6 in April, reported S&P Global. Readings above 50 on PMIs point to sector expansion, while below signals contraction.

Japan's flash services business activity PMI edged lower to 53.6 in May from 54.3 in April, but remained in expansion territory.

The nation's composite PMI, a combination of the service and factory sectors, inched up in May to 52.4, marginally higher than the 52.3 logged in April, reported S&P Global.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index opened lower and could not recover, finishing off 1.7% on gathering disappointment in the unfolding earnings season, and the outlook for a "higher-for-longer" rate-stance at US Federal Reserve, and thus the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, which pegs its rates to the US central bank. Trade tensions between Washington and Beijing added to sentiments.

The broad gauge Hang Seng fell 326.89 to 18,868.71, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 75 to seven. The Hang Seng TECH Index lost 2.4% on the day, while the Mainland Properties Index fell 1.3%.

Leading the upside was state oil-giant CNOOC, gaining 0.7%, while online gaming outfit NetEase brought up the rear, falling 7.9%.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.3% to 3,116.39.

On the other regional exchanges, the S. Korean KOSPI fell 0.1%; the Taiwan TWSE inclined 0.3%; the Australian ASX 200 declined 0.5%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 0.4%, and the Thai Set declined 0.2%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 1.6%.