Asia Markets

Asian shares get a confidence boost from US rally

Pedestrians walk past a share prices board in Tokyo on November 17, 2015.
Yoshikazu Tsuno | AFP | Getty Images

Asian shares advanced on Tuesday, with energy and airline counters leading the rebound, as investors took heart from the rally on Wall Street.

Major U.S. averages each rose over 1 percent on Monday, helped by a sharp jump in oil prices and as investors brushed off jitters related to last Friday's deadly terror attacks in Paris. The led gains with a rise of 1.5 percent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite closed up 1.4 and 1.2 percent respectively.

"U.S. stock markets managed worthwhile rallies in Monday trading, as last week's terrorist attacks in Paris had only a fleeting impact on investor sentiment. In the context of relative market reactions seen at the time of past terrorist-related events like the Madrid commuter train bombings in early 2004 and the London bombings of mid-2005, initial cautiousness quickly dissipated," Tony Farnham, an economist at Patersons Securities, wrote in a note released Tuesday.

China stocks higher

Share markets in China surrendered all of their gains in the afternoon trading session, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite stepping slightly into the red at the market close.

Earlier on, the key index hit an intra-day high of 3,678.2 points, which marked the bourse's highest level since August 20.

Among other indexes, the blue-chip CSI300 Index slipped 0.2 percent and the smaller Shenzhen Composite dropped 0.9 percent, a day after rallying on the back of speculation that a trading link between the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges could be implemented in the coming months.

According to a note from spread better IG, Hong Kong's Chinese broadsheet Oriental Daily reported that Ronald Leung, an international advisory committee member of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), hinted that the stock connect is likely to be announced before the end of the year and to begin operations in the first quarter of 2016. In addition, Shenzhen officials reportedly visited Beijing to lobby the central government for the trading link to start as soon as possible.

Citic Securities said it will be selecting a new chairman. Shares of the biggest brokerage in China powered up 2.5 percent in Hong Kong, outpacing the broader Hang Seng index which jumped 1.4 percent.

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Nikkei leaps 1.2%

Japan's Nikkei 225 recouped all of Monday's losses, with sentiment bolstered by the inspiring handover from Wall Street and a weaker yen.

The Japanese currency was last seen at 123.36 per dollar, compared with the one-week low of 122.23 in the previous trading session, giving export-oriented counters a lift. Toyota Motor led gains among carmakers, up 1.8 percent, while industrial robot maker Fanuc jumped 2.9 percent.

Investors also picked up shares of battered of energy producers after U.S. oil ended a three-day losing streak on Monday. Large-cap Inpex tacked on nearly 2 percent, while Showa Shell Sekiyu and JX Holdings gained over 3 percent each.

Japanese air carriers enjoyed a reprieve following the prior day's selloff; Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways Holdings edged up 0.6 and 0.3 percent respectively.

Electric wire maker Fujikura topped the leaderboard, surging 9 percent, after Nomura Securities lifted its rating for the stock to 'buy' from 'neutral.'

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ASX rises 1.9%

Australia's index broke a two-session losing streak on Tuesday.

Among gainers, major lenders such as Australia and New Zealand Banking, National Australia Bank and Westpac closed up between 1.9 and 2.3 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which is having its 2015 annual general meeting on Tuesday, shot up 3.1 percent.

Large-cap Telstra extended gains by piling on 2.5 percent, while Qantas Airways clawed back Monday's hefty losses with a rally of 5.2 percent.

In the resources sector, oil and gas producer Santos surged 5.1 percent, while miners such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto notched up over 1 percent each.

Meanwhile, minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) most recent policy meeting confirmed a clear easing bias, but also greater conviction "that the prospects for an improvement in economic conditions had firmed a little over recent months". This suggests that the RBA has set a high bar for further easing, analysts at Goldman Sachs noted.

"Given that the RBA chose not to cut rates following this dovish shift and that key data on the labor market and sentiment surveys have improved further since that time, we believe that the hurdle for additional easing has now been set at a relatively high level," Goldman's note released on Tuesday said. "To be clear, further easing in early 2016 is possible - and in our view is warranted. However, it appears that a significant sequential deceleration in the data will be required to drag the RBA back into play – and especially given that the central bank has often emphasised its concerns about financial stability and the limits of monetary policy to drive a sustainable lift in growth."

The Australian dollar was rangebound at $0.7084 against the U.S. dollar in Asian trading.

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Kospi gains 1.1%

Renewed appetite for heavyweight components such as Samsung Electronics led South Korea's Kospi index higher.

Shares of the technology giant closed up 0.6 percent, while steelmaker Posco jumped 2.7 percent. Refiners SK Innovation and S-Oil tracked the gains in oil stocks region-wide, up 3.4 and 1 percent respectively.

On the corporate earnings front, Korean Air reported a consolidated operating profit of 289.5 billion ($247.3 million) for the three months ended September, up from a 240.7 billion won a year earlier and exceeding the expected 258 billion won. As such, shares of the country's largest airline by revenue soared 3.5 percent, a day after losing 3.3 percent on the back of dented sentiment due to the Paris attacks.

Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest flag carrier, zoomed up 1.4 percent after announcing a third-quarter net loss of 62.16 billion won ($53.02 million), down from a net loss of 85.4 billion won three months earlier.

In other news, Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol said on Tuesday that the terror attacks in Paris will have little impact on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, adding that the U.S. central bank is highly likely to begin raising interest rates next month.

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Rest of Asia

Taiwan's weighted index closed up 1.5 percent on Tuesday, with Hon Hai Precision Industry leading advances on the back of upbeat third-quarter profit results.

The key supplier of Apple, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, bounced up 2.7 percent.

Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta Composite settled 1.3 percent higher after Bank Indonesia (BI) held its policy rate at 7.5 percent amid rising expectations of a rate hike in the U.S. next month, in line with expectations.

Meanwhile, Singapore-listed Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) rocketed 3.8 percent, as the Wall Street Journal reported late Monday that French container transportation and shipping firm CMA CGM is emerging as an early favorite to buy Neptune Orient Lines. Following the report, NOL confirmed to Reuters that "it is continuing in discussions with respect to a potential acquisition as announced on November 7" and that it is "not aware of any information not previously announced" which might be related to the trading in its shares on Tuesday.

The company, which is 65 percent owned by Singapore sovereign-wealth fund Temasek Holdings, added that "there is no assurance that discussion will result in any definitive agreement or transaction, or that any offer for NOL will be made," according to Reuters.