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Asian Shares Rise After China Data

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Asian stocks closed mostly higher on Monday even as trading volumes remained light amid holidays in South Korea, China, India and Hong Kong.

Official data released over the weekend showed activity in China's vast manufacturing sector grew at the fastest pace since 2012 in September, helping ease growth worries ahead of an upcoming political meeting next month.

Another report from South Korea showed that the country's exports surged 35 percent year-on-year in September, aided by higher memory chip and steel product sales.

Japanese shares rose as the yen weakened against the dollar and Tankan survey results showed that business confidence among large manufacturers improved in the third quarter to the highest in a decade.

Separately, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed that the manufacturing sector in Japan continued to expand in September, and at a faster pace, with a manufacturing PMI score of 52.9, up from 52.2 in August.

The Nikkei average rose 44.50 points or 0.22 percent to 20,400.78, with caution towards the Oct. 22 snap election serving to limit the potential upside. The broader Topix index closed marginally lower at 1,673.62.

Mitsubishi Motors, Fanuc and Yokohama Rubber climbed 2-3 percent. Nissan Motor shares fell 2.7 percent to extend losses for the fourth straight session after the automaker temporarily suspended registrations of around 60,000 new vehicles.

Australian shares rose sharply as a weaker Aussie dollar and upbeat factory activity data from China helped lift export-related miners. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index jumped 47.70 points or 0.84 percent to finish at 5,729.30.

BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group rose 1-2 percent, while South32 jumped as much as 4.9 percent. Beach Energy soared more than 10 percent as shares resumed trading after a deal to buy Origin Energy's upstream oil and gas business for $1.2bn.

Origin Energy lost 1.1 percent, while Oil Search, Woodside Petroleum and Santos rose between 0.7 percent and 1.4 percent. Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac ended up over 1 percent each.

On the economic front, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group showed that Australia's manufacturing sector continued to expand in September, albeit at a much slower pace.

New Zealand shares ended little changed with a negative bias after the New Zealand First Party said it would begin preliminary coalition talks this week.
While Metro Performance Glass shares fell 2 percent to hit a record low, A2 Milk and Synlait Milk climbed 2-4 percent to extend last week's gains.

Singapore's Straits Times was rallying more than 1 percent after flash data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed home prices in the country grew for the first time in four years in the third quarter.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index was moving up 0.3 percent. The country's manufacturing sector continued to expand in September, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed with a PMI score of 50.4, down from 50.7 in August.

Malaysia's KLSE Composite index was down 0.2 percent. Activity in the country's manufacturing sector swung to contraction in September, the latest survey from Nikkei revealed with a PMI score of 49.9, down from 50.4 in August.

U.S. stocks eked out modest gains on Friday, while Treasuries and the dollar dropped after reports that President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with former Federal Reserve governor Kevin Warsh to discuss the role of Fed chair.

On the economic front, personal income and spending figures for August rose in line with estimates and the pace of growth in Chicago-area business activity accelerated in September, while a gauge of consumer sentiment declined more than expected in the month.

The Dow inched up 0.1 percent while the S&P 500 gained 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.7 percent to reach fresh record closing highs.

by RTT Staff Writer

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