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Asian Stocks Rise, Nikkei Crosses 10,000

CNBC.com
Monday, 27 Jul 2009 | 5:19 AM ET

Asian stocks rose across the board on positive earnings momentum Monday, helped by a solid run on Wall Street which saw the Dow cap its best two-week performance since 2000.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 1.5 percent higher to cross the 10,000 mark for the first time in nearly four weeks, boosted by hopes for better than previously expected results in Japan's corporate earnings season. The broader Topix gained 0.9 percent.

Shares of Nomura Holdings climbed 3.2 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that it and Japan's two other biggest brokerages, Daiwa Securities Group and Nikko Cordial
Securities
, likely swung to net profits in April-June of 10 billion yen to 20 billion yen each. Daiwa jumped 4.5 percent.

Hitachi shares leapt as much as 6 percent on media reports the firm plans to spend up to 300 billion yen ($3.2 billion) to turn five listed subsidiaries, including Hitachi Maxell, into wholly owned units. Hitachi shares closed 3.4 percent higher.

But three of Japan's key shipping stocks, Nippon Yusen, Mitsui OSK Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, headed south after they slashed their profit forecasts for the full year.

South Korea's KOSPI rose for the tenth straight session to post its longest winning streak in over three years, closing up 1.4 percent, as it drew support from the latest batch of solid corporate earnings. Key exporters including HynixSemiconductor and Hyundai Motor advanced. Retailers such as Lotte Shopping and Hyundai Department Store also gained after posting solid earnings last Friday. Economic data released Monday showing South Korea's consumer sentiment in July hit a near seven-year highalso helped to bolster the market.

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Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tracked the regional gains to rise 1.2 percent Monday to touch an eight-and-a-half month high, led by buying in miners and financials. But Macquarie Airports fell 3.3 percent, extending losses from Friday which came after it announced plans to take over management rights of the fund from Macquarie Group. Virgin Blue was halted from trade as the carrier announced a US$190 million capital raising planand warned of a loss this fiscal year.

Greater China markets traded in positive territory lead by Sichuan Expressway's solid debut in Shanghai's first new listing since August 2008. The stock opened at 7.60 yuan from its opening price of 3.60 yuan and rose to an intraday high of 9.89 yuan. The company's H-shares rose 3.8 percent in Hong Kong. Meantime, China Everbright shares vaulted 10.2 percent with its unit China Everbright Securities set to begin book building for a $1.5 billion IPO in Shanghai on Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite closed up 1.9 percent while the Hang Seng rose 1.4 percent.

In South-east Asia, Singapore's Straits Times gained 1.7 percent while Malaysia's KLCI ended flat.