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Asia shares edge up in cautious trade ahead of busy week

Asian equity markets kicked off the week with gains on Monday as traders brace for a week full of event risk.

The mood was cautious ahead of key Chinese data; both the government's official purchasing manager's index (PMI) for June and HSBC's final PMI reading are due for release on Tuesday.

Read MoreIs China manufacturing data due for a dip, again?

"The consensus forecast for the official index is 51, up from 50.8 in May. The official index moves with the HSBC/Markit index but its bounces and dips typically are smaller. The two consecutive bounces in the HSBC/Markit index have reinforced the view that macro fine-tuning produced a bounce in activity in the second quarter," said TIm Condon, head of research, Asia at ING Financial Markets.

Investors are also awaiting June's U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Thursday. Analysts expect the U.S. economy to have added 213,000 jobs while the jobless rate is seen steady at 6.3 percent.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
---
SHANGHAI
---
KOSPI
---
CNBC 100
---

Geopolitical risks

Tensions in Iraq also remain in focus after government forces attempted to dislodge militant insurgents from the northern city of Tikrit on Sunday. The group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has renamed itself "Islamic State" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghadi as "Caliph," the head of the state.

Read MoreAustralia, China PMI to dominate week in Asia

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Nikkei 0.4% higher

Japan's benchmark Nikkei rebounded from Friday's one-week low following positive industrial production figures for May. But a stronger currency kept a lid on gains, as the yen hit its strongest levels in over a month at 101.23 per dollar, which added pressure on exporters.

Among the top losers, index heavyweight Fast Retailing closed down 1 percent.

Food and chemical company Ajinomoto jumped 1.6 percent after it reportedly launched a $2.9 billion offer for Swiss food additive producer Wild Flavors over the weekend.

Read MoreAbenomics gives and takes in corporate tax reform

Shanghai up 0.5%

Mainland shares rose on optimism ahead of Tuesday's manufacturing data, led by gains in infrastructure stocks.

Railway firms CSR and China CNR both rallied over 2 percent while Daqin Railway climbed more than 1 percent.

Read MoreIs it time to go outright bullish on China?

Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks fell nearly 1 percent ahead of Tuesday's public holiday.

ASX slips 1%

Australian shares ended at their lowest levels in nearly two weeks ahead of a data-heavy week for local investors, including the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy decision tomorrow.

"No change is expected from that [meeting] and the statement is likely to reinforce the 'period of stability in rates' stance," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in a note.

Miners were under pressure with Fortescue Metals more than 4 percent lower after copper prices fell off a three-and-a-half month high. BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both lost over 1 percent each.

Read MoreIs this the new mantra for EM investors?

Kospi up 0.7%

South Korean shares rose to their highest levels since June 12 after the Bank of Korea's manufacturing business survey rose in July from the previous month. The won meanwhile, traded near six-year highs against the greenback.

Read MoreIs low volatility a sell signal?

Index heavyweights Samsung Electronics and Posco added 0.7 percent each.

Sexsex rallies 1%

Indian stocks rose, tracking gains in Asian markets, on strong foreign buying. Sentiment was also buoyed by hopes that the government will unveil reform measures during the Parliament's budget session next week.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
ASX 200
---
DJIA
---
NKE
---
2802.T
---
FMG
---
USD/KRW
---
549
---
593
---
USD/JPY
---
7270.T
---
9983.T
---
BLT
---
RIO
---

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