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China, Japan lead Asia higher after robust data

Monday, 9 Sep 2013 | 3:10 AM ET

Asian stocks kicked off the week with solid gains after a spate of positive data underscored signs of stability in the world's second and third-largest economies.

The Shanghai Composite and South Korea's Kospi rose to a three-month high each, the Nikkei increased 2.5 percent and Australia's S&P ASX 200 closed up 0.5 percent.

Indian financial markets were shut on Monday for a public holiday.

(Read more: Focus turns to China data deluge, Asia central banks)

  Name Price   Change %Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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Fed, Syria in focus

A weaker-than-expected U.S jobs number did not dent sentiment in Asia. U.S. non-farm payrolls increased by 169,000 in August, undershooting a Reuters poll for 180,000. The closely-watched report provides a crucial piece of evidence for the Federal Reserve as it debates the future of its $85 billion monthly bond-buying program before next week's policy review.

Lagarde: Everybody is anxious about Fed tapering
At the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde spoke exclusively to CNBC's Ross Westgate about the group's top concerns.

Meanwhile, the U.S. faced diplomatic pressure to await a United Nations report due later this week before taking action against Syria for the suspected use of chemical weapons. Obama will appear in several television interviews this week as he tries to persuade members of Congress to vote for a military strike.

(Read more: Syria will fan flames of Sept. volatility)

Shanghai rallies 3.4%

China's benchmark index crossed the 2,200 mark to hit its highest level since June 7 after a spate of recent data confirmed hopes that China's economy is stabilizing.

Annual consumer inflation rose 2.6 percent in August, matching expectations and little changed from the previous month while producer prices fell 1.6 percent in August, compared to July's 2.3 percent drop. The data follows August trade figures released over the weekend, which showed the country's exports rose a higher-than-expected 7.2 percent from a year ago.

Banks rallied with Pudong Development Bank, Bank of Communications, and Agricultural Bank of China up by their maximum daily limit of 10 percent.

(Read more: China's economy coming up trumps)

"Either you're a believer in China or a disbeliever. Even if you're a believer, you still have to sell the stocks you want to buy, because the good companies are very expensive and the lousy companies are so questionable that you shouldn't touch them to start with. I would rather buy Hong Kong shares or Macau casino stocks," said Marc Faber, publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.

Nikkei up 2.5%

Japanese stocks rose above the 14,160 mark to hit a new one-month high on the back of positive economic reports.

Revised gross-domestic-product (GDP) data for April-June showed the economy grew 0.9 percent from the previous quarter, topping expectations for a 0.6 percent rise, while revised capital expenditure shot up 1.3 percent in the same period, the first rise in six quarters.

Why the Olympic impact on Japan is overrated
Takuji Okubo, chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors, thinks investors may be getting ahead of themselves in reacting to the 2020 Summer Olympics.

News at the weekend that Tokyo won the bid to host the 2020 Olympics also lent support as the Tokyo Olympic committee expects the games to give the economy a $30 billion boost.

Construction firms Taisei and Kajima surged 14 and 10 percent, respectively while cement makers Taiheyo Cement and Sumitomo Osaka Cement rose over 7 percent each.

"Business confidence will improve as industries see the effects of increased government and private spending over the next seven years, plus never discount 'national pride' and the effect it will have on consumer spending and household spending. For an economy that is desperate to snap out of 20 years of deflation this is a huge shot in the arm," said Evan Lucas, market strategist, IG in a note.

(Read more: Fed can't afford to ignore emerging markets: Lagarde)

Sydney adds 0.6%

Australia's benchmark index picked up its pace of gains following China's upbeat inflation data and as investors cheered conservative leader Tony Abbott's landslide election victory on Saturday.

"The change in government towards what looks like being a more business friendly approach will provide a boost to business and investor confidence and past experience points to a post-election bounce in shares. This has averaged 5.4 percent over three months for elections since 1983," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy & chief economist at AMP Capital.

(Watch now: Australia's back up for business: Joe Hockey)

Gold miners lent support to the index with Kingsgate Consolidated up 5.6 percent and Newcrest Mining higher by 3.4 percent.

Kospi above 1,970

South Korean stocks tracked Asia-wide gains due to strong foreign buying of local shares, extending their buying spree to a twelfth straight session.

The index rose above 1,960 points to hit its highest level since June 5 thanks to gains in memory chip makers. SK Hynix rose 5 percent after partly resuming operations at its Chinese plant while LG Display added over 2 percent.

— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter @NyshkaCNBC

  Price   Change %Change
JPY/USD
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NIKKEI
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ASX 200
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KOSPI
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KCN
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NCM
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66
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3422
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SHANGHAI
---
JSX COMP
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