Stocks in Asia ended higher today, despite geopolitical concerns in Ukraine and Thailand. A softer yen propelled Japan's Nikkei to a three-week high, with the index advancing 0.9%. Chinese equities extended their lead in the wake of yesterday's stronger-than-expected factory data, with the Shanghai Composite tacking on 0.7%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's Kospi both finished 0.1% higher.
European bourses are mixed at midday, as Germany's Ifo business climate survey came in weaker than expected, and the country's final first-quarter gross domestic product figures offered no surprises. Investors are also watching elections at the European Union (EU) Parliament, which kicked off last night, as well as Russian President Putin's keynote address at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. At last check, London's FTSE 100 was 0.2% lower, France's CAC 40 was up 0.1%, and Germany's DAX had tacked on 0.3%.
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