Asian Stocks Rally, with China and Japan Leading Gains
Asian stocks gained after Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Olympic games, and China posted strong data.
China's exports rose 7.2% from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said over the weekend. That exceeded the 5.5% median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Consumer prices rose 2.6%, in line with economists' forecast and below a government target, leaving room for extra stimulus if needed.
Chinese banks also found support from a report late Friday from the Economic Observer saying that some banks were to be allowed to issue preferred shares on a trial basis - non-tradable stock that doesn't come with voting rights but has a fixed dividend payout. Banks also rallied on speculation they will benefit from a broadened free trade zone, the WSJ reports.
Japan's economy expanded a revised 3.8% in Q2 on an annualized basis, up from an original estimate of 2.6%.
In Australia, Tony Abbott's Liberal-National coalition won the country's weekend election and is heading for the biggest parliamentary majority since at least 2004, ushering in a government pledging to abolish a carbon price and mining tax. BHP Billiton ( BHP ) gained on the win.
The number of Australian home-loan approvals rose a seasonally adjusted 2.4% in July from June, the Bureau of Statistics said. Economists surveyed ahead of the announcement had expected a rise of 2.0%.
In ADR news, Hanwha SolarOne ( HSOL ) said its Q2 loss narrowed to $0.32 per American depository share from a loss of $0.43 in Q1. The Non-GAAP net loss per ADS was $0.25 compared to the average Capital IQ estimate for a loss of $0.32. Total revenues were at 192.7 million compared to $179.2 million in Q1. In Renminbi amounts on a year-over-year basis, the net loss per RMB narrowed to RMB1.96 from a loss of RMB3.16 a year ago while revenues rose to RMB1.18 billion from RMB1.07 billion.
Cogo Group ( COGO ) said a plan to sell about 30% of its assets to founder and CEO Jeffrey Kang for about $80 million is "progressing smoothly."
The Nikkei ended up 2.5% at 14205.23, the Hang Seng up 0.6% at 22750.65 and the Straits Times up 1.31% at 3,088.20. The Shanghai Composite rose 3.4% to 2212.52.