Asian Shares Close Higher Led By Shanghai And Hong Kong

CANBERA (Alliance News) - Asian stocks closed broadly higher on Monday after data showed the US ...

Alliance News 11 December, 2017 | 9:05AM
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CANBERA (Alliance News) - Asian stocks closed broadly higher on Monday after data showed the US economy created more jobs than expected last month and the UK reached a divorce deal with the EU, setting stage to move on to future trade talks post-Brexit.

Regional gains remained somewhat muted outside China and Hong Kong, as investors waited for cues from key policy meetings of the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank due this week.

Chinese stocks rallied, led by consumer staple and healthcare companies, after media reports indicated the government is in no hurry to finalize its new asset management rules.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index jumped 32.20 points or 1.0% to 3,322.20 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 1.1% at 28,965 in late trade.

Japanese shares rose for a third straight session to hit a fresh 25-year high as the yen held weaker and a survey showed Japan's business survey index of large manufacturers strengthened again in the fourth quarter.

The Nikkei average rose 127.65 points or 0.6% to 22,938.73, the highest closing level since early 1992. The broader Topix index closed 0.5% higher at 1,813.34.

Financials led the surge, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial climbing 1.5% and 2.3%, respectively.

Obayashi shares plummeted 7.2% amid reports the construction firm was being investigated for rigging bids in connection with a JPY9 trillion maglev train project.

Australian shares ended a choppy session marginally higher, led by gains in mining, energy and financial stocks after the release of better-than-expected US jobs data.

Retail Food Group, owner of the Gloria Jean's, Donut King and Brumby's Bakery brands, slumped 26% after reports that the company is driving its franchisees into bankruptcy with a brutal business model.

Seoul stocks reversed early losses to end modestly higher amid buying by institutional investors. The benchmark Kospi gained 7.49 points or 0.3% to finish at 2,471.49, with shares of tobacco company KT&G Corp climbing as much as 3%.

Carmaker Hyundai Motor plunged 5.4% after its labour union said it would stage three or four strikes over five consecutive days.

New Zealand shares closed higher in the wake of firm leads from offshore markets. The benchmark S&P NZX-50 index climbed 42.42 points or 0.5% to finish at 8,277.51.

Metro Performance Glass led the gainers to close up 5.6% at 95 cents, while A2 Milk and Synlait Milk ended down about 2% each.

The kiwi dollar rose after the government appointed Adrian Orr as Reserve Bank Governor for a five year term.

India's Sensex was up 0.4%, the Taiwan Weighted advanced 0.7% and Singapore's Straits Times was rallying 1% while Indonesian shares were marginally lower and Malaysia's KLSE Composite index was declining 0.1%.

US stocks rose on Friday as stronger-than-expected job growth figures for November added to optimism about the economy and reinforced expectations of an interest rate rise next week.

Positive sentiment was also generated by news that both the House and the Senate passed a stopgap spending bill, giving lawmakers time to negotiate a longer-term spending bill.

US non-farm payroll employment jumped by 228,000 jobs in November after surging up by a revised 244,000 in October, while the jobless rate came in unchanged at 4.1%.

The Dow gained half a percent and the S&P 500 added 0.6% to reach fresh record closing highs while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index advanced 0.4%.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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