Asia-Pacific Markets

Asia Stocks End Higher after Strong US Session with Wires

Asian shares finished higher Tuesday, following a rally on Wall Street which saw U.S. indices finishing at their highest levels in more than a year.

Japan's Nikkei Average rose as trading houses climbed after rises in commodities the day before, though a late rise by the yen against the dollar pared gains in many shares.

Advantest Corp and other chip-related shares rose after gains by their U.S. peers, while bank shares climbed after remarks by Japan's banking minister suggesting the government may
not strictly enforce capital requirements for banks.

Chip-related shares climbed after gains in their U.S. peers sent the PHLX semiconductor index up 3.2 percent.

Chip tester maker Advantest rose 1.5 percent to 2,010 yen and Tokyo Electron climbed 2.5 percent to 4,980 yen.

Bank shares rose after Financial Services Minister Shizuka Kamei said the government may not punish banks even if their capital adequacy ratio temporarily falls below 4 percent -- the
required amount for banks operating in the domestic market.

Trading houses like Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group andSumitomo Mitsui Financial Group also rose 2.7 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.

Seoul Retreats from Earlier Highs

Seoul shares retreated from an early high to end up slightly, as initial strong reaction to a Wall Street surge faded across Asia, while defense issues jumped on news of a naval clash between two Koreas.    

Most heavyweights gave up early gains, with recently oversold stocks such as Hyundai Motor and Hana Financial Group maintaining advances.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 0.35 percent to end at 1,582.30, after briefly trying the 1,600 mark early in the morning.

Hyundai Motor rose 2.44 percent and Hana Financial climbed 3.15 percent. Korean Air ended up 1.31 percent after positing its second straight quarterly net profit and expecting a
further recovery next year.

defense companies surged on the news of the two Koreas' skirmish, with Huneed Technologies jumping 8.67 percent and Victek up 5.22 percent.

Australia Stages Best 3-Day Rally in 4 Months

Australian stocks rose 1.3 percent, their strongest three-day rally in four months, spurred on by fresh appetite for risk-taking, an influx of foreign buyers and a surge in mining stocks.

Top miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto led the gains after commodity prices rose on brighter demand prospects, pushing the materials index up 1.9 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 58.7 points to 4,733.6. Over the past three sessions, the index has recouped nearly half of the 8 percent lost in the recent market downturn.

Speculation of fresh takeover activity in the funds management sector also boosted sentiment, dealers said.

AMP jumped 4.4 percent to A$6.39 on speculation that the insurer could become a takeover target itself after its bid for rival AXA Asia Pacific Holdings was rejected on Monday.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 0.9 percent to A$55.55 after an upgrade by brokers at UBS and positive comments from analysts after its trading update.

China Ends Up for 8th Session in a Row

China's key stock index edged up 0.1 percent on Tuesday led by property shares, rising for an eighth session in a row to a three-month closing high ahead of economic data for October that is expected to be strong.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended at 3,178.610 points.

Property shares led the rise, with Poly Real Estate Group up 2.86 percent at 27.01 yuan after posting a 143 percent surge in contract property sales in the first 10 months.

Analysts said investors were encouraged by official comments about the economic recovery and stable monetary policy. Ma Delun, a vice-governor with the People's Bank of China, reaffirmed on Tuesday that China would continue its accommodative monetary policy stance.

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