Asia Markets

Asia stocks higher as Portugal fears recede; earnings in focus


Asian stocks started the week with gains on Monday as fears about Portugal's banking sector receded and as investor attention turned to corporate earnings.

"Q2 earnings season in the U.S. is likely to be the next major driver of global markets, and if Alcoa is any guide, expectations of double-digit growth for the quarter look to be a near certainly. With major U.S. banks reporting this week, the market will get the best view of the 'self-sustaining' economy that the Fed now sees," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in a note.

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On Friday, Portugal's government and central bank offered assurances that the nation's financial system was sound in an attempt to contain fears following financial irregularities at holding companies behind Banco Espirito Santo, the country's largest bank.

Nikkei 0.8% higher

Japan's benchmark rebounded from a two-week closing low on Friday, snapping a five-day losing streak. The Bank of Japan kicks off its two-day monetary policy meeting today with a decision due on Tuesday but analysts don't expect any changes to current policy settings.

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The country's biggest film distributor Toho rallied 4 percent on strong March-May earnings.

Tsugami soared 4.3 percent after the Nikkei newspaper said that the precision machinery maker's operating profit likely increased 380 percent for the April-June quarter.

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China shares higher

The mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite added 1 percent, hitting its highest level since June 17 ahead of Wednesday's second-quarter growth report.

Automakers led gains after Beijing announced a new set of subsidies on Sunday to get government officials and agencies to buy energy-efficient cars. FAW Xiali surged over 10 percent while Dongfeng Auto rose 4 percent.

Hong Kong shares increased 0.4 percent, rebounding from last week's 1 percent drop.

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ASX up 0.4%

A rally amid miners saw Australia's benchmark end at a one-week high, extending gains into a third straight session.

Karoon Gas rose nearly 3 percent after announcing that it has not made any decisions regarding a share buyback following reports in the Australian Financial Review on Monday.

Shares of retailer David Jones ended more than 1 percent higher after shareholders voted in favor of a $2 billion takeover bid by Woolworths South Africa.

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Kospi adds 0.2%

South Korean shares recovered from Friday's two-week low and traded in sight of key 2,000 mark.

Steel company Hyundai Hysco dropped over 1 percent after the U.S. set duties on South Korean steel pipe used in the oil and natural gas industry.

Sensex dips 0.1%

Indian shares were unable to track Asia-wide gains due to foreign selling and caution ahead of June consumer price and wholesale price inflation data.