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Hong Kong shares close ahead despite unrest

Hong Kong protesters

Hong Kong shares ended the day ahead as investors welcomed the resumption of China-US trade talks and brushed off violent demonstrations that hit the city overnight.

The Hang Seng Index rose 1.17%, or 332.94 points, to 28,875.56. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was slightly lower, down 0.96 points to 3,043.94, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, added 0.16%, or 2.57 points, to 1,619.12

Australia cuts rates to record low of 1%

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The Reserve Bank of Australia opted to cut its key policy rate again at its July meeting to 1%.

The cut comes a month after it eased monetary policy for the first time in three years, in a bid to boost an economy that has been hit by a housing market slump and slowing Chinese growth.

China to open financial sector sooner

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Li Keqiang, China’s premier, said this morning the country would open up its financial sector ahead of schedule and champion globalisation.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, Li said full foreign ownership of securities firms, futures businesses and life insurance companies will be allowed by 2020

It’s the latest step by China’s policy makers to open up the country’s $44 trillion financial industry to overseas competition.