Asia-Pacific Markets

Asian Markets End Up, Sydney Up 1.8% with Wires

Asian markets chalked up gains on Monday, led by Sydney's 1.8 percent advance. However, investors remained concern over the state of the U.S. economy after the mixed jobs report released on Friday.

The Australian market rallied as takeover activity, a positive trading update from CBA and resilience on Wall Street supported sentiment.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 climbed 80.9 points to close at 4674.9, its second straight session of gains.

AXA Asia Pacific Holdings surged 33 percent amid speculation a higher bid may emerge after the insurer rejected a takeover proposal from rival AMP and AXA SA.

Shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia jumped 4.5 percent as investors cheered the lender's strong quarterly performance in a trading update.

Gold miners such as Newcrest gained 3.6 percent and Lihir Gold rose 3 perecnt after spot gold hit a record high of $1,105.07 an ounce this session.

Orica rose 5.6 percent . The explosives group posted full-year profit well ahead of analysts' forecast.

Japan's Nikkei Average edged higher while the broader Topix ended 0.4 percent lower.

Shares of Rohm lost 5.2 percent after the specialty chipmaker revised down its profit forecast.

Tech exporters such as Elipda Memory and Hitachi slid, after a fall in a key U.S. index for chip stocks, the PHLX Semiconductor Index, weighed on sentiment.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) slipped 1.6 percent after the Nikkei business daily said it will likely report an operating profit of about 630 billion yen ($7.01 billion) for the April-September first half, a drop of 15 percent from the same period last year.

But shares of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance jumped 8.1 percent after the insurer said it would beat its profit forecasts.

Machinery makers got a boost on hopes that China will show strong growth when it releases economic data later in the week. Hitachi Construction rose 2.6 percent and Kubota, which makes agricultural equipment, soared 8 percent.

Seoul shares pared earlier gains to finish 0.28 percent higher. Steelmakers and construction issues led the way but automakers and telcos came under pressure.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed 0.28 percent higher to 1,576.79.points, after rising as much as 1.24 percent in the session.

POSCO rose 1.9 percent, supported by a brighter sector outlook and government comments that the country's steel companies would spend $18.7 billion won ($16 billion) in the next three years on equipment to cut greenhouse gasses and energy consumption.

Builders rose on prospect of overseas orders. Hyundai Engineering jumped 4.39 percent.

Hynix Semiconductor jumped 3.9 percent amid hopes of further improvement to earnings in the current quarter.

But Ssangyoung Motor slumped by the daily 15 percent limit, after the court failed to approve the car maker's rehabilitation plan on Friday.

HK & Taipei Gain

Taiwan's Taiex advanced 1 percent to its highest close in more than a week, boosted by Wall Street's gains and hopes of improved trade ties with China.

China-related shares such as China Petroleum and financials outperformed the broader market as a result.

Market heavyweight Cathay Financial rose 2.65 percent, following local media reports that China will soon sign a financial services memorandum with the island.

Some tech stocks rose on hopes of better business in the fourth quarter. HTC gained 2 pecent following a brokerage upgrade, on grounds that the smartphone maker's products still appeal to the upper end of the smartphone market.

The benchmark index gained 73.6 points 7,536.7.

China's key Shanghai Composite drifted 0.36 percent higher at 3,175.58 points, rising for a seventh straight session to a three-month closing high.

Power and steel shares made strong gains, amid hopes of upbeat economic data for October.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.7 percent, led by financials.

China Life, the world's top life insurer by market value rose 2.1 percent. ICBC gained 2.2 percent and Bank of Communications advanced 1.9 pecent.

Lijun International surged to an all-time high of HK$1.86 before steadying at HK$1.55. The Chinese pharmaceutical company said it saw a promising market for its new antiviral drug, Enerxin.

Markets in Singapore and Malaysia inched higher.

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