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Asian Markets Mostly Higher


Asian stock markets are mostly higher on Monday, with Chinese shares rising more than 1 percent as mainland markets resumed trade after the week-long "Golden Week" holidays.

Investors shrugged off the mixed cues from Wall Street as well as the lackluster service sector data from China. Trading volumes remained thin as markets in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan remained shut for holidays.

The Australian market is rising despite he lackluster cues from Wall Street as well as the fall in crude oil prices on Friday. Stocks are higher across the board.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is adding 41.70 points or 0.73 percent to 5,752.40, off a high of 5,754.00 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is up 40.20 points or 0.55 percent to 5,817.60.

In the mining sector, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are advancing more than 1 percent each, while Fortescue Metals is higher by almost 1 percent.

Gold miners are also advancing after gold prices rose on Friday. Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining are adding more than 1 percent each.

Newcrest Mining said it will increase CEO Sandeep Biswas' long-term incentives to 180 percent of total fixed remuneration from 150 percent previously.

The big four banks - ANZ Banking, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank - are higher in a range of 0.6 percent to 1.1 percent.

Oil stocks are also mostly higher despite the 3 percent fall in crude oil prices on Friday. Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.2 percent and Oil Search is up 0.3 percent, while Santos is down 0.2 percent.

French hotel giant Accor SA has made an A$1.18 billion takeover bid for Australian hotels operator Mantra Group. Shares of Mantra Group are in a trading halt.

Shares of engineering group WorleyParsons are also in a trading halt as it conducts a A$322 million capital raising to fund its A$303 million acquisition of UK-based oil and gas operator AFW UK.

Select Harvests said it has been "significantly undervalued" by a A$430.6 million takeover proposal by Mubadala Investment Co., an Abu-Dhabi based sovereign wealth fund. Shares of Select Harvests are in a trading halt ahead of a A$65 million capital raising.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is slightly higher against the U.S. dollar on Monday. In early trades, the local unit was trading at US$0.7776, up from US$0.7764 on Friday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai, New Zealand and Indonesia are also higher, while Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are lower.

The Japanese market is closed for the Health and Sports Day holiday, while the markets in South Korea and Taiwan are closed for Hangeul Day and National Day, respectively.

On Wall Street, stocks closed roughly flat on Friday after a report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected decrease in employment in the U.S. in the month of September.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq inched up 4.82 points or 0.1 percent to a new record closing high of 6,590.18, while the Dow edged down 1.72 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 22,773.67 and the S&P 500 dipped 2.74 points or 0.1 percent to 2,549.33.

The major European markets also turned in a mixed performance on Friday. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while the French CAC 40 Index fell by 0.4 percent and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.1 percent.

Crude oil futures tumbled on Friday despite data showing a surprise drop in the U.S. rig count. WTI crude oil for November delivery fell 1.50 or 3 percent to close at $49.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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