Asia Markets

Asian shares get a lift from rebound on Wall Street

A man monitors trading on the electronic screens at the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney.
Saeed Khan | AFP | Getty Images

Asian shares largely advanced on Tuesday, stabilizing from sharp declines in the previous session, as Wall Street ended higher overnight.

However, trading volumes were light, with markets in Japan closed for the National Day holiday and as worries over global growth lingered.

"It's quite apparent that investors are reluctant to get back on the horse in the risk markets [amid] growing uncertainty. The Fed's inaction last week was a major factor behind the market participants' decision to sit on the side-lines at the moment," IG's market strategist Bernard Aw wrote in a note.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed up 0.8 and 0.5 percent respectively, recovering part of their Friday sell-off. The eked out marginal gains, weighed by a plunge in biotechnology plays on the back of renewed controversy over large price increases on some drugs.

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.

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ASX gains 0.5%

Australia's index clawed back some of Monday's sharp losses.

Battered financial stocks managed a feeble rebound; Westpac closed up 0.7 percent, while Australia and New Zealand Banking andCommonwealth Bank of Australia ticked up modestly. Macquarie Group and QBE Insurance charged up 0.5 and 0.9 percent respectively.

Oil-related counters got a boost from higher crude oil prices, which climbed more than 4 percent overnight. Santos and Oil Search rallied more than 4 percent each, while Woodside Petroleum closed up 2.8 percent.

By contrast, gold names lagged after the precious metal retreated from near three-week highs on Monday. Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining retreated more than 2 percent each.

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Kospi rises 0.9%

South Korea's Kospi index closed up, with automakers leading the charge following the government's announcement that it would investigate emissions of Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars after the German carmaker admitted rigging emissions tests on diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors powered up more than 3 percent each, on the back of expectations that the scandal could benefit local car brands. Logistics company Hyundai Glovis rallied 3.6 percent, while automotive parts supplier Hyundai Mobis surged 5.3 percent.

Energy plays such as S-Oil and SK Innovation were also among the day's winners, up 3.1 and 1 percent respectively.

However, losses in other blue chips limited the index's advances. Samsung Electronics and Posco eased 0.4 and 1.4 percent respectively. LG Display tumbled 4.7 percent to three-week lows, hurt by a report from researcher Witsview who noted falls in LCD panel prices, Reuters said.

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Taiex up 0.7%

Taiwan's weighted index rose on Tuesday, tracking the positive cues from offshore markets, but gains were capped ahead of the central bank's quarterly policy meeting on Thursday.

The Central Bank of the Republic of China (CBC) may cut the benchmark discount rate for the first time since 2009, economists polled by Reuters said. Eight economists out of 14 re-polled by the newswire expect the CBC to lower its discount rate to 1.75 percent from 1.88 percent, marking its first rate change since 2011.

On the domestic data front, Taiwan's jobless rate steadied at 3.74 percent in August, unchanged from the prior month.

Meanwhile, statistics released by the Finance Ministry late Monday showed a decline in the country's export orders for the fifth consecutive month. Exports dropped 3.5 percent to $35.03 billion in August, nearly double of what economists were expecting.