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Most stocks in Asia gain as US jobs data beat; Wanda Hotel surges as much as 155 percent

  • Japan May core machinery orders fell 3.6 percent on-month, compared with a 1.7 percent gain forecast.
  • China PPI and CPI data for the month of June were in line with expectations
  • Jobs data stateside for June, released on Friday, was better-than-expected, with 222,000 new jobs created, compared with the 179,000 forecast

Most Asian indexes closed in positive territory on Monday after U.S. jobs data beat forecasts and as Chinese inflation data for June were in line with expectations.

The Nikkei 225 advanced 0.76 percent, or 151.89 points, to close at 20,080.98 and South Korea's benchmark Kospi index edged up 0.09 percent, or 2.23 points, to end at 2,382.1.

The S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.37 percent, or 20.833 points, at 5,724.4, led by advances in the financials and information technology sub-indexes.

Markets in greater China were mixed. The Hang Seng Index was up 0.74 percent at 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN, but markets on the mainland traded lower.

The Shanghai Composite was off by 0.19 percent, or 6.1052 points, to finish at 3,211.8515 and the Shenzhen Composite declined 0.665 percent, or 12.7644 points, to end at 1,905.3680.

Markets in Thailand were closed for a public holiday.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
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HSI
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ASX 200
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SHANGHAI
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KOSPI
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CNBC 100
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June inflation data out of China was in line with expectations. The China consumer price index (CPI) gained 1.5 percent on-year and the producer price index (PPI) rose 5.5 percent. Both figures were in line with forecasts from a Reuters poll.

"We actually think that growth momentum (will) moderate in the second half from the better-than-expected first half. Major reason for this is that PPI inflation, a major factor driving China's recovery momentum this time round, in our view is likely to trend lower in the second half when the base effects start to kick in," ANZ senior economist Betty Wang told CNBC's "The Rundown."

Deleveraging in the financial sector is also expected to have a negative impact on financial activity and ultimately affect the Chinese economy, Wang added.

The Australian dollar, which is sensitive to Chinese economic data, was largely unaffected by the headlines. The Aussie dollar gained later in the session to trade at $0.7603 by 2:53 p.m. HK/SIN, off a high of $0.7614 hit earlier in the session.

Japan core machinery orders in May dropped 3.6 percent on month, missing the 1.7 percent rise forecast in a Reuters survey.

The yen weakened to trade at 114.21 to the dollar at 2:53 p.m. HK/SIN. The currency had initially traded at 113.88 yen to the dollar immediately after the news, compared with levels around 113.96 seen before.

The weakening in the yen also followed the Bank of Japan stepping up plans for its bond-buying program on Friday.

"A surprising pivot by the BOJ has policy divergence between the U.S. and Japan back to the fore ... It's hard not to remain constructive on the dollar/yen given the divergence narrative and we could see the dollar/yen push higher early this week," OANDA senior trader Stephen Innes said in a Monday morning note.

Investors were also expected to keep an eye on the bond markets following last week's climb in bond yields. Yields for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury came in around 2.3927 percent, compared with levels around 2.330 percent seen early last week.

"Looking ahead, traders will continue to watch fixed income like a hawk for further knock-on effects into foreign exchange and equities," said IG chief market strategist Chris Weston in a Monday morning note, citing upcoming speeches from Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard and Fed Chair Janet Yellen due later this week.

In corporate news, shares of Hong Kong-listed Orient Overseas International jumped 19.5 percent on news of a $6.3 billion offer from shipping company Cosco Shipping Holdings. Shenzhen-listed shares of Cosco have been suspended since May, but its Hong Kong-listed shares were off by 0.32 percent.

Shares of Hong Kong-listed Wanda Hotel Development jumped as much as 155 percent on news it was selling 76 hotels and 13 cultural and tourism projects to Sunac, a Tianjin-based property developer for 63.18 billion yuan ($9.29 billion). Wanda Hotel shares were up 37.93 percent at 3:03 p.m. HK/SIN.

Sunac shares in Hong Kong were suspended from trade on Monday ahead of an announcement of "substantial development."

Citi initiated coverage on Sony Financial Holdings in a note on Friday with a "Sell" rating and a target price of 1,600 yen. Sony Financial shares closed higher by 0.25 percent at at 2,042 yen each.

"We see more downside risk rather than upside potential for the shares over the next 12 months," Citi analysts Koichi Niwa and Arisa Yoshikoshi said in the note.

Meanwhile, oil prices edged up. Brent crude futures were higher by 0.34 percent at $46.87 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures traded higher by 0.32 percent at $44.37.

In currencies, the dollar firmed against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index trading at 96.040 at 2:52 p.m. HK/SIN.

Stocks on Wall Street closed higher on Friday following better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls figures for the month of June. A total of 222,000 new jobs were recorded last month, compared with the 179,000 forecast by a Reuters poll. Wage growth was largely unchanged, compared with the previous month.

— CNBC's Huileng Tan contributed to this report.