By RTT News, October 28, 2013, 05:07:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Asian stocks rose on Monday, tracking positive cues from Wall Street Friday, where the S&P 500 hit a fresh record high following strong corporate earnings from technology giants and amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve would keep its ultra-easy monetary policy in place well into 2014. The dollar traded near a two-year low versus the euro following mixed data on consumer confidence and durable goods orders released Friday.
Japanese shares rebounded from Friday's fall as investors went bargain hunting in export-oriented companies amid the yen's slide against the euro and dollar. The Nikkei average rallied 2.2 percent to 14,396, while the broader Topix index finished 1.7 percent higher. Toyota Motor rose 1.8 percent, Honda Motor added 2 percent, Canon gained 2.3 percent and Kyocera Corp. advanced 2.8 percent.
Heavyweight KDDI rallied 3 percent on a Nikkei report that the telecommunications firm will likely report a 50 percent jump in group operating profit for the April-September period. Mitsubishi Motors soared 4.2 percent on fund raising reports. Sony climbed 3.2 percent on a brokerage upgrade. JFE Holdings dropped 1.3 percent after the steelmaker left its full-year profit guidance unchanged.
Bank of Japan's Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata said on Sunday that the central bank will pursue quantitative and qualitative monetary easing to attain 2 percent inflation target. "Japan's monetary and fiscal policies are at a critical juncture with regard to overcoming the deflation that has lasted for nearly 15 years," Iwata told at a Symposium in honor of Korekiyo Takahashi.
China's Shanghai Composite index ended little changed with a positive bias, as losses in liquor and pharmaceutical companies such as Wuliangye Yibin and Yunnan Baiyao Group offset gains in energy shares. On the macroeconomic front, profits earned by Chinese industrial firms grew at a slower pace in September, data released by the National Bureau of Statistics revealed. Profits rose 18.4 percent to CNY 558.9 billion in September, slower than the annual 24.2 percent growth seen in August.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, however, rebounded from a seven-week low to close half a percent higher at 22,806. China's top political adviser Yu Zhengsheng, ranked fourth in China's Politburo Standing Committee, said that the country's leadership is poised to discuss 'unprecedented' policy reforms at a Communist Party meeting next month. The meeting will examine the matter of "deep and comprehensive reforms," Xinhua news agency reported Yu as saying during a speech at a forum in Taiwan.
Australian shares rose sharply to hit a fresh five-year high, led by gains in banks ahead of upcoming earnings reports beginning this week. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 gained a percent to 5,441, its highest close since June 2008. ANZ advanced 1.8 percent on reports Future Fund executive chairman David Gonski has been approached to become the next chairman of the bank. Commonwealth added 1.5 percent, NAB rose 1.7 percent and Westpac closed 0.7 percent higher. Wealth manager AMP, which issued a profit warning last week, closed up 0.2 percent.
Miners also ended mostly higher in the wake of recent strong production reports released by them. BHP Billiton rose 1.2 percent, Rio Tinto added a percent and Fortescue Metals Group jumped 4 percent. Warrnambool Cheese and Butter shed 0.7 percent after announcing changes to its board of directors. Kingsgate Consolidated shares slumped 5 percent as the gold miner reported an 18 percent drop in quarterly output. Transfield Services plunged 6.3 percent even as the construction and maintenance group said it remains confident of attaining its profit target amid cost-cutting and debt reduction measures.
South Korea's Kospi average rose 0.7 percent to 2,048, boosted by gains in tech and auto blue chips on renewed foreign buying. Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor both ended up more than 2 percent each. South Korea's consumer confidence rose to its highest level in seventeen months in October, a survey report released by the Bank of Korea showed. The headline index rose to 106 from 102 in September. Consumers' sentiment on prospective changes in household income and expected spending improved during the month, while their outlook for domestic economic conditions weakened slightly.
Elsewhere, the New Zealand market was closed in observance of the Labor Day holiday. India's Sensex was moving down 0.4 percent as investors priced in a 25 basis points repo rate hike at the RBI policy meeting scheduled for Tuesday. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index and Malaysia's KLSE Composite were little changed, while Singapore's Straits Times was up 0.1 percent and the Taiwan Weighted average advanced 0.7 percent.
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