Asia Markets

Asia stocks gain on PBOC, Scotland; Nikkei at 7-year peak


Asian shares rose on Friday following liquidity boosting measures from China and after Scottish voters decided against independence.

Late on Thursday, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) cut the 14-day repo rate by 20 basis points to 3.5 percent to ease short-term borrowing costs for banks. Traders also said the PBOC injected $1.3 billion into money markets this week. The move comes days after the PBOC was believed to have pumped $81 billion into China's top five banks.

In Scotland, the majority of voters chose to remain in the United Kingdom, sending sterling to a two-year high against the euro and a more than two-week high against the greenback.

Focus was also on Alibaba's market debut later in the day. The e-commerce firm priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $68 per share on Thursday, the top of the expected range.

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"The biggest market volatility events of 2014 are almost over. The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) was yesterday, Scotland voting for independence is today and Alibaba, with its mass market interest, is tonight," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG.

Nikkei 1.7% higher

Japan's benchmark Nikkei index jumped to its highest level since 2007 after Prime Minister Abe said that he aims to carry out Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) reform as soon as possible, sending the yen to a fresh six-year low against the dollar at 109.45.

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Index heavyweight Fast Retailing rallied 3.5 percent while exporters Fanuc and Mitsubishi Heavy popped 2.5 and 4 percent, respectively.

Investors brushed off news that the government downgraded its assessment on the economy for the first time in five months in its monthly report.

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China markets higher

Shanghai shares added 0.5 percent in afternoon trade following a choppy morning session.

Banks ended mixed following reports of the central bank's liquidity injections. Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China eased 0.4 percent while Bank of Communications added 0.2 percent.

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Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index recovered 1 percent after dropping 1 percent in the previous session.

ASX up 0.3%

Australia's benchmark rose for a second session while the Australian dollar continued to trade below 90 U.S. cents.

The mining sector capped gains on the index with a 4 percent loss in Fortescue Metals and Rio Tinto down 0.6 percent.

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Kospi adds 0.3%

South Korean stocks rebounded after closing down nearly 1 percent on Thursday. Data out before the market open showed annual producer prices declined in August after rising in June and July.

Brokerages led the gains Woori Securities up nearly 5 percent and Daewoo Securities 3.4 percent higher