Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Tuesday, aided by hopes that U.S. interest rates would stay low for longer. Trading volumes were thin in the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street, which was closed overnight for a holiday.
Chinese shares rallied after government data showed the country’s exports grew more than expected in August. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index jumped 54.73 points, or 1.51 percent, to 3,676.59 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended up 0.73 percent at 26,353.63.
Chinese exports advanced 25.6 percent year-on-year in August, bigger than the economists’ forecast of 17.1 percent and July’s 19.3 percent increase. Imports increased 33.1 percent annually after rising 28.1 percent in July. Economists had forecast an increase of 26.8 percent.
As a result, the trade balance showed a surplus of $58.34 billion, which was above the expected level of $51.05 billion.
Japanese shares rose on hopes the Liberal Democratic Party will compile additional economic stimulus to recover from the continued impact of the virus.
The Nikkei average climbed 256.25 points, or 0.86 percent, to 29,916.14, after having climbed above the psychological barrier of 30,000 points earlier in the day for the first time in five months. The broader Topix index ended 1.09 percent higher at 2,063.38.
Heavyweight SoftBank Group soared almost 10 percent on news it is acquiring 4.5 percent stake of Deutsche Telekom AG in an equity share swap.
Australian markets ended little changed with a positive bias after the Reserve Bank of Australia left benchmark lending rate and the 3-year Australian Government bond yield target unchanged at 10 basis points, as widely expected.
Investors also digested data showing that the services sector in the country contracted in August. Weaker iron ore prices weighed on the mining sector, with Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group losing 2-3 percent.
Energy stocks eked out modest gains as oil prices traded mixed in Asian trade amid bargain hunting following recent losses. Banks ended narrowly mixed while gold miners Evolution and Newcrest ended down over 1 percent.
Seoul stocks fell amid a lack of directional cues from Wall Street. The benchmark Kospi dropped 15.91 points, or half a percent, to 3,187.42.
Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics declined 1.6 percent, SK Hynix dropped 1.4 percent and internet portal operator Naver lost 2.1 percent. On the positive side, chemical firm LG Chem rose over 1 percent.
New Zealand shares edged up in quiet trading, with the benchmark NZX-50 index rising 21.96 points, or 0.17 percent, to 13,321.99. Pushpay Holdings jumped 3.4 percent while Sky Network Television fell 2.3 percent on profit taking, after having jumped 23 percent last week.
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