• Asian marts rise with Wall Street, Abe win


    HONG KONG: Asian shares mostly rose on Monday following a mixed lead from Wall Street, while Tokyo was boosted by a parliamentary election win for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party.

    Tokyo added 0.47 percent, or 68.13 points to 14,658.04, and Sydney gained 0.60 percent, or 29.8 points to close at 5,001.9, while Seoul rose 0.48 percent, or 8.94 points to 1,880.35.

    Hong Kong climbed 0.25 percent, or 54.08 points to 21,416.50, and Shanghai was up 0.61 percent, or 12.11 points at 2,004.76. Bangkok was closed for a public holiday.

    Japan’s Nikkei rallied more than 1 percent in the first few minutes of the day before settling back following Sunday’s upper house election victory for the Liberal Democratic Party that will likely usher in a period of stability for Japan.

    The win means both chambers of parliament will be under government control, unblocking the bottleneck that has hampered legislation for the past six short-term premiers.

    That will strengthen Abe’s hand as he tries to push through structural reforms aimed at dragging Japan out of two decades of economic malaise.

    In Shanghai, traders sold financial stocks after the government at the weekend removed a lower limit on lending rates, leaving banks free to set their own rates. Analysts said that the move could result in narrower interest margins for lenders.

    Focus will now be on the release on Wednesday of Chinese manufacturing data that will provide a fresh clue about the state of the world’s number two economy.

    Wall Street ended mixed as weak corporate results from tech firms offset a strong showing for industrials. The Dow ended flat, while the S&P 500 was up 0.16 percent and the Nasdaq fell 0.66 percent.



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