Asian stocks close mostly up
Asian stocks closed mostly up on Monday despite near-record-high oil prices as hopes grew that the worst of the global financial crisis may be over.
Hong Kong climbed more than two percent and the Japanese stock market, Asia's biggest, rose more than 1.6 percent to its highest level in almost two months.
The Asian rise came after US stocks rallied nearly two percent Friday.
Better-than-expected earnings reports last week from Citigroup, Google and other big firms have led some investors to wonder if a period of intense financial turmoil may be starting to abate.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea, Singapore and India managed gains of around 1.5 percent on Monday, while Malaysia added one percent. A clutch of smaller markets ended in the red, including Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The overall performance of regional shares in recent months remains poor despite the Monday's rally.
Asian stocks have tumbled since late 2007 following the default crisis among subprime, or riskier, US mortgages. The crisis caused a global credit crunch and, on IMF estimates, could lead to losses approaching one trillion dollars.
TOKYO: Japanese share prices closed up 1.63 percent at the highest level in almost two months on a weaker yen and easing concerns about the outlook for US corporate earnings, dealers said.
The benchmark Nikkei-225 index climbed 220.10 points to end at 13,696.55, the best finish since February 28. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares advanced 27.45 points or 2.10 percent to 1,331.51.
"Now that the Dow has broken the technically important threshold of 12,700, I bet a short-covering rally will start and push up the Nikkei to 14,000 points," said Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Management.
HONG KONG: Hong Kong share prices closed up 2.17 percent, dealers said. The Hang Seng index closed up 523.89 points at 24,721.67. Turnover was 81.4 billion Hong Kong dollars (10.41 billion US).
SHANGHAI: Chinese share prices close mixed with the Shanghai bourse up 0.72 percent, dealers said.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index, which covers A and B shares, closed up 22.31 points at 3,116.98 on turnover of 79.6 billion yuan (11.4 billion dollars).
Shares received a boost rules placing curbs on the sale of non-tradable shares that come out of lock-up periods.
TAIPEI: Taiwan share prices closed little changed, dealers said. The weighted index closed up 8.98 points at 9,083.32 on turnover of 164.75 billion Taiwan dollars (5.44 billion US).
SEOUL: South Korean shares closed 1.6 percent higher, dealers said.The KOSPI gained 28.58 points to 1,800.48. Volume was 294 million shares worth 5.56 trillion won (5.57 billion dollars).
SINGAPORE: Singapore share prices closed up 1.48 percent, dealers said.The blue chip Straits Times index climbed 46.22 points to 3,171.09. Volume was 1.81 billion dollars (1.34 billion US).
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian share prices closed one percent higher, dealers said. The Kuala Lumpur Composite index ended the session up 12.35 points at 1,280.0.
BANGKOK: Thai share prices closed 0.40 percent lower, dealers said. The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index fell 3.42 points to 841.98, and the blue-chip SET 50 index lost 3.54 points to 605.84.
JAKARTA: Indonesian shares closed 0.6 percent lower, dealers said. The Jakarta composite index closed down 13.38 points at 2,335.89.
MANILA: Philippine share prices closed 0.9 percent lower, dealers said. The composite index finished down 24.75 points at 2,890.92. The all-share index fell 10.55 points to 1,779.51.
MUMBAI: Indian share prices closed up 1.57 percent, dealers said. The benchmark Mumbai Sensex rose 258.13 points to 16,739.33.
"The forecast for normal monsoon rains has eased other concerns," said a broker with ICICI Securities in Mumbai.