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Asian Shares Rise On Upbeat China Data

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Asian markets rose on Monday as expectations for an economic recovery in Japan and China helped offset concerns that U.S. support for Hong Kong may stall the U.S.-China trade negotiations.

Chinese shares rose as upbeat factory activity reports helped offset investor anxiety over the prospects of a proposed U.S.-China trade deal. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index inched up 3.83 points or 0.1 percent to 2,875.81, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 98.23 points or 0.4 percent to 26,444.72.

Chinese manufacturing activity expanded at a moderate pace in November, but this was the strongest growth since December 2016, survey data from the IHS Markit showed.

The Caixin manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose slightly to 51.8 from 51.7 in October, signaling an improvement for the fourth consecutive month.

According to an official survey released over the weekend, the manufacturing sector returned to growth in November. The PMI advanced to 50.2 from 49.3, while the non-manufacturing PMI climbed to 54.4 from 52.8.

The latest upturn was partly underpinned by a further rise in new business placed with Chinese manufacturers. Despite easing from October, the rate of new order growth remained solid overall.

Japanese shares rallied to reach their highest level in nearly 14 months as improved Chinese and Japanese economic data helped ease investor concerns about slowing global growth.

The latest survey from Nikkei revealed that Japan's manufacturing sector continued to contract in November, albeit at a slower pace.

Overall capital spending in Japan rose an annual 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019, extending gains in business spending for a 12th consecutive month and outpacing expectations for an increase of 5.0 percent.

The Nikkei 225 Index jumped 235.59 points or 1 percent to 23,529.50, while the broader Topix closed 0.9 percent higher at 1,714.49.

Video game-related companies and iPhone parts suppliers gained the most ahead of the year-end shopping season in the United States after data showed Americans spent more money on Black Friday in 2019 than ever before. Nintendo rallied 2.1 percent and Murata Manufacturing jumped 2.9 percent.

Australian markets eked out modest gains, led by financials and healthcare companies after the release of a slew of domestic data.

Australia's manufacturing sector fell into contraction in November, job advertisement declined again in the month and company operating profits fell in the third quarter of 2019, while house prices surged 1.7 percent across the country in November, separate reports showed.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index edged up 16.30 points or 0.2 percent to 6,862.30, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 17.30 points or 0.3 percent at 6,965.30.

Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac rose between 0.3 percent and 0.8 percent, while Avita Medical advanced 1.6 percent in the healthcare sector. Heavyweight CSL and Cochlear rose around 1 percent each.

Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search fell 1-2 percent after WTI futures plunged 5 percent on Friday amid fresh trade tensions and record high U.S. crude production.

Seoul stocks ended off their day's highs after a report showed the country's manufacturing sector continued to contract in November, albeit at a slower pace.

Separate data showed that consumer prices in the country rose an annual 0.2 percent in November, falling below expectations for an increase of 0.7 percent. The benchmark Kospi edged up 3.96 points or 0.2 percent to 2,091.92.

Meanwhile, New Zealand shares hit another record high before giving up all early gains to end the session modestly lower.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index slipped 14.60 points or 0.1 percent to 11,301.98, snapping a five-session winning streak after the monthly economic indicators report from the Treasury Department highlighted that economic growth is likely to fall below budget forecasts.

Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index spiked by 2 percent and the Taiwan Weighted Index inched up marginally despite weak manufacturing readings.

Malaysia's KLSE Composite Index rose 0.6 percent. The manufacturing sector in Malaysia continued to expand in November, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from IHH revealed with a manufacturing PMI score of 51.4.

U.S. stocks ended a holiday-shortened session lower on Friday amid increased U.S.-China trade friction after Beijing said it would take strong counter-measures in response to the U.S. interference in China's internal affairs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 dropped around 0.4 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed half a percent.

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