Most Asian Markets Rise on Bargain Hunting
Most Asian stock indexes were on positive ground, led by Australia's 1.2 percent rise, as traders paused in their selloff of risky assets ahead of Chinese economic data and a European Central Bank meeting later in the week.
Fears about a spreading European sovereign debt crisis, a slowdown in China and a weak U.S. job market have combined to sap investors' willingness to take risks for higher returns, leading to a massive selloff in global equities, the euro and emerging market currencies on Monday.
Japan's Nikkei average eked out gains of 0.2 percent in a volatile session after a key support level held, as investors bought beaten-down shares, after the benchmark suffered its biggest one-day fall in 14 months.
The benchmark Nikkei rose 17.14 points to 9,537.94, turning positive after earlier falling towards a six-month low of 9,395.29 hit on May 27.
The broader Topix inched down 0.1 percent to 858.33.
Gains from Softbank, which sells Apple iPhone and iPad in Japan, buoyed the market after Apple unveiled a new iPhone model.
Nippon Steel fell 1.3 percent while JFE Holdings slipped 1 percent. Shares of the steelmakers dropped on news that BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto would raise iron ore price for the July-September period about 23 percent from the previous quarter.
Tech shares weighed on the market after their U.S. peers slid, with the S&P 500 closing at a seven-month low.
Chip tester maker Advantest fell 2.6 percent while Sony shed 1.1 percent. Stepper maker Nikon declined 0.7 percent to 1,622 yen.
SBI Holdings tumbled 10.4 percent to 13,010 yen. The financial services firm said it plans to raise about 49 billion yen ($533 million) by issuing new shares to finance its expansion in China and other emerging markets. The share issue would represent a dilution of about 20 percent on its outstanding shares.
Seoul shares erased earlier losses to end 0.82 percent higher, helped by gains in automakers and financials including Hyundai Motor. But rises were capped by persistent foreign selling.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 13.51 points at 1,651.48 points.
Automakers outperformed on expectations that successful new model lineups would continue to strengthen earnings, with Hyundai Motor up 2.9 percent to 139,000 won.
The won's stabilization after falls in the previous session lifted airlines and tour issues, pointing to steadier costs of imported jet fuel and solid demand for overseas tours.
Korean Air Line, South Korea's top air carrier, rose 3.9 percent and major tour agency Modetour advanced 3.7 percent.
But memory chip issues struggled after the key U.S. semiconductor index retreated 3.6 percent. Hynix Semiconductor, the world's No.2 memory chip maker, lost 0.7 percent and Samsung Electronics, the world's No.1, shed 0.2 percent.
Australia Gains 1.2%
The Australian market chalked up gains of over 1 percent after global miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto flagged sharp iron ore price rises and Newcrest Mining said it would push ahead to complete its $8 billion takeover of Lihir Gold by September.
The S&P ASX 200 index finished the session 55.3 points higher at 4381.2.
BHP Billiton rose 1.3 percent to A$37.02 and Rio Tinto gained 1.8 percent to A$66.75. The world's second- and third-biggest iron ore miners said they planned to raise July-September prices by 22-23 percent from the earlier quarter, underpinning broad gains among resources shares.
Lihir Gold shares rose 1.75 percent at A$4.07 and Newcrest was up 2.9 percent A$33.19.
Karoon Gas rose 1.6 percent to A$7.34 after it said it plans to list some of its South American Assets in Brazil to lift the market value of its overseas assets.
New Zealand's NZ50 lost1.3 percent, or 41.1 points to 2,988.9, returning from a holiday on Monday and taking a cue from Wall Street's recent falls.
Taiwan Ends Flat
Taiwan stocks finished flat as losses in blue chip tech stocks after Hon Hai raised wages at its plant, were offset by buying in other shares.
The main TAIEX share index ended 0.08 percent or 5.84 points at 7,151.99. The electronics sub-index fell 0.69 percent while the financials sub-index rose 0.31 percent.
Hon Hai slumped 5.1 percent, extending Monday's slide, after offering workers at its Foxconn unit in China a 66 percent performance-based pay rise, raising concerns over its earnings.
Market heavyweight TSMC shed 1.1 percent, UMC declined 1.4 percent.
Among gainers, food giant Uni-President rose 2.0 percent and Chinatrust Financial climbed 0.9 percent.
China's key stock index ended a marginal 0.1 percent higher, off its morning highs with sentiment dampened ahead of a series of large new share offerings while a technical rebound lost momentum.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finished at 2,513.9 points, managing to return to positive ground after a late decline but relinquishing most of a modest 0.4 percent gain in the morning session. It closed down 1.6 percent on Monday.
Property developers led the decliners, with China Vanke off 0.6 percent and Poly Real Estate down 0.2 percent.
Guoyuan Securities added 0.5 percent on a report that China's brokerages logged a 27 percent increase in return on net assets last year.
Hong Kong stocks edged up 0.3 percent as Asian markets rose on bargain-hunting after falling broadly on Monday but the mood remained cautious, capping gains.
The benchmark Hang Seng index was up 68 points to 19,447.74 .
Denway Motors advanced 4.8 percent after its parent company Guangzhou Auto sweetened its offer to take Denway private.
Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co (HAECO) soared 24 percent after Swire Pacific
made a general offer for all HAECO shares at HK$105 ($13.46) each. HAECO shares jumped HK$20.3 to HK$104.3 at the opening.
Swire, the parent of HAECO and Cathay Pacific Airways, agreed to buy 15 percent of HAECO from Cathay for HK$2.62 billion ($336 million), the company said on Monday.
In Southeast Asia, markets in Singapore and Malaysia both inched higher.