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Asian Shares End Higher on Recovery Hopes

CNBC with wires
Monday, 16 Nov 2009 | 5:13 AM ET

Asian share indexes gained ground Monday, after upbeat earnings from U.S. retailers underpinned confidence that a global economic recovery is under way.

Shanghai led the way, rising 2.7 percent, as U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to China lifted sentiment on the mainland.

Gold's ascent to a fresh record high above $1,130 an ounce this session boosted gold-related stocks.

Japan's Nikkei Average edged up 0.2 percent in see-saw trade, buoyed by defensive shares such as retailers but weighed down by exporters and tech shares despite data showing Japan's economy expanded at the fastest pace in two years in July-September.

Falls in bank shares also weighed on the market after three sources said Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group would issue about $11 billion in new shares to meet stricter capital requirements and boost lending in Asia.

The Nikkei gained 20.87 points to 9,791.1 after spending much of the morning in negative territory, while the broader Topix lost 0.74 percent to 860.4 points.

Hitachi, Japan's biggest electronics firm by revenue, slid 8.5 percent after two sources familiar with the matter said it plans to raise up to 400 billion yen ($4.5 billion) by issuing new shares and convertible bonds to shore up its battered capital base.

Seoul Climbs

Seoul shares closed 1.3 percent higher, extending gains in the afternoon. News of Samsung Life's IPO plans and strong prospects for the sale of Daewoo Engineering & Construction supported the market.

Daewoo Engineering & Construction jumped 8.14 percent as the Wednesday deadline for final bids on a controlling stake approaches, while shareholders Kumho Industrial and Kumho Tire were up 10.2 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Samsung Life, the country's top life insurer, said it aimed to go pubic in the first half of next year.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index was up 20 points to 1,592.47, after briefly dipping into negative territory.

Local retail giant Lotte Shopping jumped 4.45 percent and Hyundai Department Store rose 3.18 percent. Local department store operators have been outperforming discount stores and other rivals because of strong demand for high-end goods.

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction rose 2.15 percent after company executives said it would invest more in clean energy and that it expected to win nuclear power equipment deals in the United States and China.

Shipping company STX Pan Ocean soared 5.78 percent and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding rose 2 percent after STX Pan Ocean ordered iron ore carriers worth 1.02 trillion won ($882.1 million) from STX Offshore.

Mining Stocks Support Australia

Australian shares climbed 1.04 percent, due to positive leads from Wall Street and strong commodities prices.

Global miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rose 2.8 percent and 4.7 percent respectively, on hopes of stronger global demand for resources.

Retailers gained after US retail firm JC Penneyon Friday reported strong earnings. Electrical goods retailer Harvey Norman was up 2.7 percent and electronics retailer JB Hi-Fiup 2.9 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed 48 points higher at 4755.2 points, after losing 0.9 percent on Friday.

Shares in Australia's top fertiliser maker, Incitec Pivot jumped 6.49 percent after the firm reported a year net loss, but said it expects fertiliser demand and prices to improve in the year ahead.

Debt-laden asset manager Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, whose shares are in a trading halt, said on Monday that there was no alternative recapitalisation proposal from the Royal
Bank of Scotland (RBS), contrary to media reports.

BBI urged securityholders to support the current proposal by Canada's Brookfield at meetings on Monday.

China Rallies on Obama Visit

U.S President Barack Obama's historic visit to China boosted sentiment on the mainland, lifting shares related to topics such as yuan appreciation and new energy sources.

China's key Shanghai Composite rallied 2.7 percent to close at 3,275.0 points, adding to Friday's 0.5 percent.

Shanghai's index of U.S. dollar-denominated B shares surged 5.39 percent, extending Friday's 9.4 percent.

China Shenhua Energy jumped 4.9 percent and Yanzhou Coal surged 6.4 percent as heavy snow raised concerns over difficulties of transporting coal, which could lead to higher coal prices.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 1.7 percent, led by financials following takeover talks on abundant liquidity. Both HSBC and ICBC climbed to one-year highs.

Food packaging company CPMC Holdings soared nearly 30 percent to HK$7.05 on its trading debut.

Taiwan's Taiex rose 1.66 percent to a 17-month closing high as upbeat news from the U.S. retail sector helped tech exporters.

Chi Mei, the island's No.2 LCD maker, climbed to its 7 percent daily limit to a more than five-month closing high on news of its merger with Innolux Display. Shares of Innolux rose 2.98 percent.

Singapore's STI gained 2.1 percent to 2,783.85 points, thanks to growing confidence about the U.S. economic recovery on the back of better-than-expected news from the retail sector.

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