Asia Markets

Asian stocks join China stimulus-led global rally

Asian stocks jumped on Tuesday, drawing support from the global rally in the U.S. and Europe induced by China's move over the weekend to stimulate its cooling economy.

The People's Bank of China (PBoC) lowered the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for all banks by 100 basis points on Sunday, marking the deepest single reduction since 2008 and the second industry-wide cut in two months. However, Asian markets failed to get a boost from the supportive measure on Monday as concerns of further crackdowns on speculative trading by Chinese authorities weighed on sentiment.

"China's monetary policy has been much too tight based on international standards and the RRR cut corrects that to some extent," Uwe Parpart, managing director and head of Research at Reorient Financial Markets, told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box." "We expect more of that this quarter."

Overnight, U.S. stocks finished sharply higher on the back of unexpected stimulus from the world's second-biggest economy and as investors eyed corporate earnings. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led all major indexes, closing up 1.3 percent, posting its best day since February 10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 settled 1.2 and 0.9 percent higher each.

Mainland markets up

China's Shanghai Composite index elevated 1.8 percent to a fresh 7-year closing high after tanking 1.6 percent in the previous session on concerns over regulatory curbs on margin financing.

For investment guru Mark Mobius, market players should not be deterred by recent pullbacks. "We're having corrections everyday as we move up. The bottom line is: we are in a bull market [and] 20 percent correction is nothing. So take these corrections in stride and use the opportunity to buy. The bull market in China isn't going to end soon," the executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group told CNBC.

Ahead of its first-quarter results today, China Minsheng Banking closed up 2.7 percent in Shanghai and climbed 6.2 percent in Hong Kong. Over the last year, the lender's president resigned citing personal reasons, after reports that he was under investigation by anti-corruption authorities.

Liquor maker Kweichow Moutai rose by the daily limit of 10 percent after reporting an 18 percent jump in first-quarter net profit.

China Resources Enterprise said on Tuesday it will sell all its non-retail assets to controlling shareholder China Resources Holdings. Shares of the retail-focused conglomerate soared over 50 percent, outpacing the 2.8 percent rally in the key Hang Seng index. The Hong Kong bourse snapped a two-day losing streak after suffering its biggest loss in four months on Monday.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen-based Kaisa Group Holdings became the first Chinese property developer to default on its dollar bonds when it confirmed it had failed to pay a coupon on two senior notes.

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ASX gains 0.7%

Buoyed by rises offshore, Australia's S&P ASX 200 index recouped almost all of Monday's losses, but analysts say gains may be short-lived.

"I am still cautious for Australia – the 6,000 point level has been defended and the market has broken to the downside after trying for four weeks to break through," said Evan Lucas, IG's market strategist. "The green may be very short lived."

Among miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, which missed forecasts in its quarterly production report, advanced 2.6 and 1.5 percent each. Meanwhile, Atlas Iron requested for its securities to remain suspended from trading for a further three weeks as "recent falls in iron ore prices have left it with little choice."

Oil Search slipped 0.1 percent following news that it is sticking to its full-year production forecasts despite a drop in first-quarter revenue.

Newly-released minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) previous meeting showed the central bank deciding it was prudent to hold off interest rate cuts in April as the Board wanted to see more economic data. Meanwhile, RBA governor Glenn Stevens said overnight in New York the central bank is willing to cut interest rates again if needed but is cautious about the impact on house prices and debt levels.

The Australian dollar sagged 0.3 percent to trade at $0.7696 against the U.S. dollar.

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Nikkei jumps 1.4%

The benchmark Nikkei 225 index advanced as traders bet on improved earnings from Japan Inc, which are due to put out corporate report cards starting from this week.

Among blue-chips, Mitsubishi Electric climbed 3.5 percent, while Toyota Motor charged up 2.2 percent on the back of hopes that it could see strong sales in the U.S. However, Canon closed up 0.8 percent, reversing subdued trade for most of the session after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company posted a 15 percent drop in fourth-quarter operating profit.

Japanese drug maker Daiichi Sankyo surged 4.4 percent following news that it is selling shares worth up to $3.6 billion in Indian drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, on set to retreat from India after a roller-coaster seven years.

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Kospi flat

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index closed down marginally, breaking a 7-day winning streak. The Seoul bourse hit a new three-and-a-half-year high in the first hour of trade, but indifference gradually seeped into the market as investors took a break on the sidelines.

Brokerage houses gave up early gains, with Hyundai Securities and Samsung Securities losing over 3 percent each.

On the corporate news front, SK Holdings rallied 2.3 percent, extending gains from Monday's news that the group's IT services company will merge with its parent in a stock swap. Shares of Hanwha Chemical Corp jumped 10 percent after its Nasdaq-listed renewable energy unit Hanwah Q Cells signed a deal to sell 1.5-gigawatt solar modules to NextEra Energy in America by next year, marking the single largest deal in the solar power sector.

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Southeast Asian firms in focus

Singapore Telecommunications closed almost 1 percent lower after announcing plans to delist from the Australian stock exchange citing low trading interest. Singtel has been listed on the ASX in the form of CHESS Depositary Interests (CDIs) since 2001, according to a company statement. Meanwhile, the broader Straits Times index inched up 0.15 percent, recovering from Monday's one-week closing low.

Kuala Lumpur-listed AirAsia X announced that it will compensate travelers inconvenienced by its decision to stop direct flights to Australia's Adelaide. Shares of the sister company of AirAsia appeared unaffected, rising 2.3 percent late Tuesday.