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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed ahead of Beijing summit, G7 finance meeting
May 12,2017

Asia Pacific share market finished the week with a mixed note on Friday, 12 May 2017, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street. Expectations of an interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve next month also weighed on investor sentiment.

Investors were awaiting for the outcome of a meeting of world leaders in Beijing for the Silk Road summit this weekend and the G7 finance meeting in Italy.

U.S. equities closed lower on Thursday as weak earnings reports Macys weighed on major U.S. retailers, causing the S&P 500 to decline 0.22% or 5.19 points to close at 2,394.44. Macys earnings miss for Q1 led to shares of the retailer tumbling 17%.

Ahead, a weekend meeting of top finance chiefs from the world leading economies called the G7 will meet in Italy at the weekend with trade and currencies expected to be on the agenda.

Beijing prepares to host a number of world leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin, for a summit on Chinas ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative to link China to Europe via Central Asia and maritime routes this weekend. The summit comes as the U.S. and China unveiled a trade agreement that will boost U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas and beef, and work on improving access for electronic payment system providers in China.

This weekend sees the beginning of Chinas two day One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit involving more than 100 countries and organizations. 40 have already signed cooperation agreements and another 20 countries and more than 20 corporations are expected to sign agreements in the next few days in the global plan that covers around 65% of the worlds population, one third of the worlds GDP and around a quarter of all the worlds trade. The plan itself is twelve times larger than the post WW2 Marshall plan and is the largest single economic policy ever conceived.

Among Asian bourses

Australia Stocks fall, weigh by top lenders

Australian equity market ended lower, as sentiment was weighed on by a slide in global markets overnight. Most of the ASX sector declined, with consumer discretionary, technology, healthcare, industrials, energy, realty and financials issues being notable losers, while strong gains in the gold and copper prices helped materials sector to close in green. The S&P/ASX 200 finished down 41.40 points, or 0.7%, at 5836.90. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 637 to 415 and 389 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 2.14% to 11.977.

Shares of financial companies closed down after news of the governments plans for a levy on the liabilities of the countrys biggest lenders, with Australia & New Zealand Banking falling 0.3% to A$29.22, Westpac dropping 0.2% to A$32.57 and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia erasing 0.5% to A$81.67. The National Australia Bank was up 0.1% to A$32.33.

Bank executives have argued against the federal move to raise 6.2 billion Australian dollars (US$4.57 billion), saying they werent consulted and that any taxes would ultimately get picked up by shareholders or borrowers. Keeping up the pressure on the government, the industrys lobby group on Friday called on the Treasury to release details of the levy and its economic impact.

Shares of materials and resources were higher. Among the miners, BHP Billiton rose 0.6% to A$23.75 and Rio Tinto 0.4% to A$59.80 as copper prices touched a one week-high on Thursday after funds cut bearish bets. However, Fortescue was down 2.7% to A$4.74. Gold miner Newcrest added 2.4% to A$20.68 after the bullion price rose on Thursday having been flat or lower for the previous eight sessions.

Japan Stocks falls on profit booking

The Japan share market finished session lower, as investors elected to cash profits after the benchmark hits 17-month high yesterday. Meanwhile, the yens appreciation against the U.S. dollar and Wall Streets overnight decline also fuelled profit booking. However, losses were limited as investors focused on a slew of corporate earnings such as from automaker Nissan on a surprise hike in dividend. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 77.65 points, or 0.39%, to close the day at 19,883.90. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 6.15 points, or 0.39%, to end at 1,580.71. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 2.3% for the week.

Trading volume on the main section on Friday came to 2,248.62 million shares, rising from Thursdays volume of 2,292.02 million shares. The turnover on the final trading day of the week totaled 2,964.5 billion yen.

Panasonic lost ground after the electronics maker announced on Thursday a weaker-than-expected operating profit estimate for the fiscal year through March 2018.

Sumitomo Metal Mining declined after releasing a sluggish operating profit estimate for the current fiscal year. Also on the minus side were mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho, automakers Toyota, Honda and Subaru, and electronics parts producer Murata Manufacturing.

By contrast, Nissan Motor surged on its plan to hike dividends although it forecast an unexpected fall in profits and its guidance was lower than analyst expectations. Retailer Seven & i Holdings, online shopping mall operator Rakuten and power firm Tepco Holdings were buoyant. Mobile phone carrier KDDI attracted buying a day after announcing a plan to buy back own shares.

China Stocks up ahead of Beijing summit

The Mainland China equity market closed higher, as risk sentiments got boosted by central banks move to inject funds into the market. Investors also get encouraged by the news that Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is going to be held this weekend. Shares of banking, insurance companies and those related to the Xiongan New Area were among the biggest gainers today. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.72%, or 22.01 points, to 3,083.51 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, edged 0.06%, or 1.05 points, up to 1,820.20. Over the past week, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.63%.

Chinas central bank injected fresh funds through a medium-term lending facility on Friday while keeping a tight rein on short-term funding in what appeared to be a further effort to dampen speculative investment while keeping the economy adequately funded. The Peoples Bank of China injected 459 billion yuan (US$66.51 billion) into the financial system through medium-term lending facility tools today. The move is a positive signal for the stabilization of the market.

The advance came as Beijing prepares to host a number of world leaders, including Russian president Vladimir Putin, for a summit on Chinas ambitious One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative to link China to Europe via Central Asia and maritime routes. The summit comes as the U.S. and China unveiled a trade agreement that will boost U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas and beef, and work on improving access for electronic payment system providers in China.

This weekend sees the beginning of Chinas two day One Belt One Road (OBOR) summit involving more than 100 countries and organizations. 40 have already signed cooperation agreements and another 20 countries and more than 20 corporations are expected to sign agreements in the next few days in the global plan that covers around 65% of the worlds population, one third of the worlds GDP and around a quarter of all the worlds trade. The plan itself is twelve times larger than the post WW2 Marshall plan and is the largest single economic policy ever conceived.

Shares of banking, insurance companies and those related to the Xiongan New Area were among the biggest gainers today. China Merchants Bank Co rose 5.61% to 20.34 yuan, New China Life Insurance Co added 3.05% to 50.03 yuan, and Hebei Langfang Development Co climbed 2.37% to 13.41 yuan.

Hong Kong Stocks gain for fifth day

The Hong Kong stock market finished the week with a fifth successive gain, as investor sentiment lifted by tracking strength in Mainland bourses and continuous inflows from mainland China. Sector performance was mixed, with materials and utility shares falling, while IT stocks firmed. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.12%, or 30.79 points, to 25,156.34 - its highest finish since the end of July 2015. The China Enterprises Index gained 0.2%, to 10,282.65 points. For the week, the Hang Seng gained 2.8%, while HSCE rose 2.6%. Turnover decreased to HK$75.1 billion from HK$81.6 billion on Thursday.

Tencent (00700) gained 1% to HK$258.2 after hitting all-time high of HK$259.2. Citi Research has raised their target price for the internet giant to HK$302, expecting its income growth of 40% for 1Q. It was also reported that Russia has unblocked its messaging app Wechat.

Link REIT (00823) gained 1% to HK$58.1 after the company confirmed to acquire the Metropolitan Plaza in Guangzhou. HSBC (00005) edged up 0.2% to HK$68.1.

AAC Technologies (02018) sank 3% to HK$96 after yesterdays plunge triggered by a short seller report. The company said its net profit soared 72% to RMB1.06 billion for 1Q.

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Australia Stocks fall, weigh by top lenders
May 12,2017

Australian equity market ended lower on Friday, 12 May 2017, as sentiment was weighed on by a slide in global markets overnight. Most of the ASX sector declined, with consumer discretionary, technology, healthcare, industrials, energy, realty and financials issues being notable losers, while strong gains in the gold and copper prices helped materials sector to close in green. The S&P/ASX 200 finished down 41.40 points, or 0.7%, at 5836.90. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 637 to 415 and 389 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 2.14% to 11.977.

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Japan: Stocks falls on profit booking
May 12,2017

The Japan share market finished session lower on Friday, 12 May 2017, as investors elected to cash profits after the benchmark hits 17-month high yesterday. Meanwhile, the yens appreciation against the U.S. dollar and Wall Streets overnight decline also fuelled profit booking. However, losses were limited as investors focused on a slew of corporate earnings such as from automaker Nissan on a surprise hike in dividend. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 77.65 points, or 0.39%, to close the day at 19,883.90. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, meanwhile, dropped 6.15 points, or 0.39%, to end at 1,580.71. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 2.3% for the week. Trading volume on the main section on Friday came to 2,248.62 million shares, rising from Thursdays volume of 2,292.02 million shares. The turnover on the final trading day of the week totaled 2,964.5 billion yen.

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China Stocks up ahead of Beijing summit
May 12,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed higher on Friday, 12 May 2017, as risk sentiments got boosted by central banks move to inject funds into the market. Investors also get encouraged by the news that Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is going to be held this weekend. Shares of banking, insurance companies and those related to the Xiongan New Area were among the biggest gainers today. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.72%, or 22.01 points, to 3,083.51 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on Chinas second exchange, edged 0.06%, or 1.05 points, up to 1,820.20. Over the past week, the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.63%.

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Hong Kong Stocks gain for fifth day
May 12,2017

The Hong Kong stock market finished the week with a fifth successive gain on Friday, 12 May 2017, as investor sentiment lifted by tracking strength in Mainland bourses and continuous inflows from mainland China. Sector performance was mixed, with materials and utility shares falling, while IT stocks firmed. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.12 per cent, or 30.79 points, to 25,156.34 - its highest finish since the end of July 2015. The China Enterprises Index gained 0.2 percent, to 10,282.65 points. For the week, the Hang Seng gained 2.8 percent, while HSCE rose 2.6 percent. Turnover decreased to HK$75.1 billion from HK$81.6 billion on Thursday.

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Hong Kong Stocks gain for third day
May 10,2017

The Hong Kong stock market rose for the third straight session on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, as investor sentiment lifted by strength in many Asian markets as investors focused on strong corporate earnings, as well as signs that money was continuing to flow in from mainland China. On Wednesday, Chinese investors used up roughly 30 percent of the daily quota buying Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme. The Hang Seng Index inclined 126.39 points, or 0.51%, to 25015.42. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index was up 98.43 points, or 0.97%, to 10227.42. Turnover increased to HK$93.6 billion from HK$71 billion on Tuesday.

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China Stocks fall 0.9%
May 10,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed down on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, as risk aversion selloff triggered after soft data showing the countrys April producer price inflation cooled more than expected. Sector performance was mixed, with financials and telecom stocks rising while resource shares lost ground. The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.9% to 3052.78 at the close.

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Japan Stocks rebound to fresh 17-month high
May 10,2017

The Japan share market finished session at fresh 17-month high on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, with export-oriented issues such as electronics, iron and steel, nonferrous metal and machinery makers attracted purchase on the back of yen depreciation to 114-yen level against greenback. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 57.09 points, or 0.29 percent, to end at 19,900.09, marking its highest finish since Dec. 3, 2015. The Topix index of all first-section issues closed up 3.42 points, or 0.22 percent, at 1,585.19.

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Australia Stocks rise on bargain hunting
May 10,2017

Australian equity market ended higher after recouping early weakness on Wednesday, 10 May 2017, thanks to bargain hunting in mid-cap lenders as prospect of a new tax on big banks eased. Meanwhile, strength in materials and resources also supported the market recovery. The S&P/ASX 200 finished up 35.50 points, or 0.61%, at 5875.40.

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US stocks end in a mixed note
May 10,2017

US stocks closed near session lows on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 as the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 finished lower and the tech-heavy Nasdaq carved out a new record while investors sifted through mostly upbeat earnings reports against a backdrop of falling oil prices and remarks from Federal Reserve speakers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 36.50 points, or 0.2%, at 20,975.78, about 140 points below its record close from early March. The S&P 500 index closed down 2.46 points, or 0.1%, at 2,396.92 with seven of the 11 main sectors finishing lower, as utilities, energy and materials stocks led decliners, offsetting gains in the consumer discretionary and industrial sectors. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 17.93 points, or 0.3%, to close at a record 6,120.59.

Shares of Chevron and Cisco Systems were the largest decliners on the average.

This weeks listless trading sessions follow the widely expected victory Sunday by independent centrist Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election, an outcome that investors appeared to have largely factored in over the previous two weeks.

The Federal Reserve meeting in June is one of the events traders are waiting for to potentially steer the market higher. On Tuesday, several Fed speakers will be closely watched for any hints about the coming policy decision.

As measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index, the dollar was up 0.5% at 99.592. A stronger buck makes commodities priced in the currency, like gold, less attractive to buyers using weaker monetary units.

Investors have been increasingly pricing in a U.S. rate increase next month, with fed-funds futures recently showing that markets are pricing in an 88% chance of a rate increase at the Feds mid-June meeting.

On the data front, investors received March JOLTS and March Wholesale Inventories data. The March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings increased to 5.743 million from a revised 5.682 million (from 5.743 million) in February.March Wholesale Inventories increased 0.2% (consensus -0.1%). The prior months reading was revised to 0.3% from 0.4%.The market doesnt typically pay much attention to this release since the full business inventories report is usually released a short time later.

The March Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings increased to 5.743 million from a revised 5.682 million (from 5.743 million) in February. March Wholesale Inventories increased 0.2% (consensus -0.1%). The prior months reading was revised to 0.3% from 0.4%. The market doesnt typically pay much attention to this release since the full business inventories report is usually released a short time later.

Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on tuesday, 09 May 2017. Gold futures dropped on Tuesday to their lowest settlement since mid-March, as strength in the dollar and growing expectations for a U.S. interest-rate hike next month dulled demand for the metal.

June gold fell $11, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,216.10 an ounce, after settling with a meager gain on Monday. The settlement was the lowest in about eight weeks. July silver lost 19.1 cents, or 1.2%, to $16.067 an ouncen++its lowest settlement of the year.

Oil prices closed lower on Tuesday, 09 May 2017 as traders fretted over rising U.S. crude production as OPEC weighs extend its production-cut agreement late this month.

July Brent crude lost 61 cents, or 1.2%, to $48.73 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, June West Texas Intermediate crude fell by 55 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $45.88 a barrel, after briefly trading as high as $46.78.

In a monthly report Tuesday, the U.S. government raised its forecast on domestic crude output for this year and next, and cut its 2017 price outlook. Last week, prices for WTI and Brent marked their lowest settlements since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed on Nov. 30 to cut output for six months at the start of this year.

In the bond market, Treasuries settled slightly lower across the board with the benchmark 10-yr yield (2.41%) adding two basis points.

Tomorrow, investors will receive a batch of economic reports, including the MBA Mortgage Applications Index at 7:00 ET, April Import/Export Prices at 8:30 ET, and the April Treasury Budget at 14:00 ET.

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Japan Stocks eke out gain
May 09,2017

The Japan share market finished a seesaw session in positive territory on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, following record closes on US and European markets and a rally in oil prices. The Nikkei 225 index gained 0.25%, or 49.97 points, to finish at 19,919.82, while the Topix index of all first-section issues ticked 0.27%, or 4.23 points, higher to 1,584.23.

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Australia Stocks rise, snapping four-session retreat
May 08,2017

Australian equity market ended higher for first time in five consecutive sessions on Monday, 08 may 2017, helped by tracking a strong gain on Wall Street last Friday, with shares of the banks, mining and energy companies being major gainers. The S&P/ASX 200 finished up 34.3 points, or 0.6%, at 5870.9. The index dropped 1.5% over the course of last week.

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Japan Stocks end at 17-month high after Macron win
May 08,2017

The Japan share market finished sharply higher on Monday, 08 May 2017, as investor risk confidence build-up after pro-European Union candidate Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential election. Every industry category on the main section gained ground, led by mining, air transportation, and insurance issues. Tokyos benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 2.31 per cent, or 450.00 points, to finish at 19,895.70, its highest since December 2015. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 2.29 per cent, or 35.56 points, to 1,585.86. The market was closed for three days from Wednesday to Friday for national holidays.

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China Stocks fall as regulatory fears deepen
May 08,2017

The Mainland China equity market closed down on Monday, 08 May 2017, registering fifth straight falling streak, as investor fears over tightening regulations deepened, cancelling out the impact of still-solid growth in the countrys exports. Sectors fell across the board, led by infrastructure, and real estate stocks. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 24.43 points, or 0.79 percent, to 3,078.61. The Index has lost 2.41 percent over the last five trading days.

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Mixed finish or US stocks
May 02,2017

US stock market opened the week on a positive note on Monday, 01 May 2017 with the top-weighted technology and financials sectors pacing the advance. Investors received several headlines from the nations capital on Monday. The first was news of an agreement between congressional leaders that, if approved, will keep the government funded through September. The deal, which puts fears of a government shutdown on hold, sent the S&P 500 into positive territory at the opening bell.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average which dipped in and out of negative territory, finished down 27.05 points, or 0.1%, at 20,913.46. The S&P 500 index closed up 4.13 points, or 0.2%, at 2,388.33. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 44 points, or 0.7%, to a record 6,091.60, after touching an all-time intraday high of 6,100.73.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at a record Monday, with shares of Apple hitting a new high, while the Dow industrials slipped lower as investors digested a raft of economic reports and looked ahead to the start of the Federal Reserves policy meeting on Tuesday.

Only five of the 11 main sectors finishing higher. Tech shares led the charge, finishing up 0.9%, followed by a 0.6% gain in real-estate stocks. Telecoms were the largest decliners, down 0.8%, while utilities shed 0.7%.

However, the next headline, which was a statement from President Trump, resulted in a small sell-off in the early-afternoon session. Mr. Trump said that he may favor breaking up the nations biggest banks, which briefly sent the financial sector lower. However, stocks recovered shortly thereafter as the headline provided little new information; President Trump has mentioned reinstating Glass-Steagall prior to todays announcement.

Dow was pressured by a 1.3% decline in Boeing and a 1.2% decline in shares of Home Depot . Apple shares closed up 2.1% at a record $146.60 after reaching an intraday record of $147.20. The stock is a major component in the three major U.S. stock indexes. The company reports quarterly results Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, the blue-chip benchmark briefly slipped into negative territory following comments by President Donald Trump that he was looking at breaking up big banks, with a retreat in financials contributing to much of that dip. Over the weekend, Congress cut a deal to fund the government through Sept. 30, which includes an increase in military spending.

The Atlanta Fed tracker of GDP points to a strong rebound for the second quarter after the slowest quarter in three years. The GDPN ow model forecasts 4.3% growth. That would be the strongest growth since the third quarter of 2014. Strong economic growth can make the Federal Reserve tighten monetary policy and increase the fed-funds rate. Higher rates can boost the dollar and make gold less competitive against interest-bearing investments.

Among other economic data on Monday, the personal-consumption-expenditures, or PCE index, fell 0.2% in March to mark the first decline in more than a year. U.S. manufacturing growth cooled off a bit in April, with the ISM manufacturing index slipping to 54.8% from 57.2%.

Other U.S. reports this week include a policy statement from the Fed on Wednesday that could influence assumptions about the path for interest rates and metals which dont offer a yield.

Investors will be looking at important labor-market report, with April jobs due Friday. Market is forecasting that 190,000 jobs were created in April, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.5%.

On Monday, the dollar, one of the biggest drivers of dollar-pegged commodities, as measured by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was trading nearly flat at 99.07.

Crude oil prices logged their lowest finish in about five weeks Monday, 01 May 2017 on concerns that rising U.S. crude output would offset efforts by OPEC and other large crude producers to cap a nagging global oil glut. The price drop extends a downbeat tone in crude trade into May after futures contracts registered a second straight monthly decline.

June West Texas Intermediate crude fell 49 cents, or 1%, to settle at $48.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI prices lost about 2.5% in April. July Brent on Londons ICE Futures exchange declined by 53 cents, or 1%, to $51.52 a barrel.

Bullion metals ended sharply lower at Comex on Monday, 01 May 2017. Gold futures settled sharply lower with the yellow metal booking its lowest finish in three weeks, following U.S. data implying a strong rebound in second-quarter economic growth.

June gold dropped $12.80, or 1%, to settle at $1,255.50 an ouncen++the lowest for most-active contract since 10 April 2017. The yellow metal rose over the past two sessions, but saw a weekly loss of 1.6%, as geopolitical risks, particularly in Europe, appear to have cooled somewhat, undercutting haven demand for commodities like gold that thrive in uncertainty. Silver for July delivery declined 42 cents, or 2.4%, to $16.842 an ouncen++the lowest since mid-January.

In the bond market, Treasuries settled lower across the board, however, selling pressure was not distributed equally across the yield curve. The 10-yr yield finished four basis points higher while the 2-yr yield added only two basis points.

Todays trading volume was relatively light. Market were closed across Europe and most of Asia in observance of Labor Day. 874.2 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrow, investors will not receive any economic reports, but April auto and truck sales will be released throughout the day.

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