Shanghai Comp jumps 0.9%
China's Shanghai Composite index trimmed gains into the final minutes of trading, but strengthening blue chips such as banking and property counters still pulled the bourse up nearly 1 percent.
Brokerage houses also rose following news of a possible market link-up between Shanghai and London. Orient Securities, Huatai Securities and Founder Securities made it to the leaderboard, climbing more than 4 percent each.
The benchmark CSI300 Index — which tracks the largest listed firms in Shanghai and Shenzhen — mirrored the movements in the Shanghai bourse to close up 0.9 percent.
Small-caps lagged, however, after outperforming the largest indexes in the previous sessions. The smaller Shenzhen Composite and the start-up ChiNext board edged up 0.7 and 0.2 percent, respectively, to more than one-week highs.
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Despite the gains, investors remain nervous about the flash Caixin purchasing managers' index (PMI) for September due on Wednesday, analysts say.
According to a Reuters poll, the preliminary reading of China's massive manufacturing sector likely edged up to 47.5 from August's 47.1. However, it is expected to remain near six-and-a-half-year, pointing to a seventh straight contraction in activity on a monthly basis.
Attention also turned to Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Washington this week, with industrial counters making gains on the back of speculations of business deals between the U.S. and China.
To be sure, there are analysts who prefer to temper their expectations for the meeting.
"I certainly wouldn't be building any expectations of the summit this week because we think it might be a bit of the frosty affair," Michael Kurtz, global head of equity strategy at Nomura, told CNBC. "One of the rather ironic effects of the summit is that once its out of the way, neither Washington nor Beijing will need to walk on eggshells as much as they have ahead of the summit. So both sides will be able to speak their minds on issues such as South China Sea."
In other news, the assistant chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) who came under police investigation last week has been removed from his post for "severe disciplinary violations," according to state media CCTV. Zhang Yujun, 53, is the first senior official from the securities regulator to be entangled in a government investigation over the country's stock market meltdown.