• Asian shares rise after oil prices rebound

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    TOKYO: Most Asian stock markets ticked up Monday, after oil prices rebounded from multi-year lows while mainland Chinese shares rose on news that lawmakers had agreed to start overhauling how companies list.

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    Crude prices jumped last week, bouncing off their lowest point in more than a decade after data showed US inventories declined and drillers have idled rigs.

    The slump in oil prices has fuelled fears about a broader slowdown in the global economy.
    “Since oil appears to be recovering a little it’s possible that related equities will be bought,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities, told Bloomberg News.

    But “with overseas markets closed, we don’t have a lot of factors to move on,” he added.

    Tokyo gained 0.21 percent by the break as a weaker yen lifted exporters, while Singapore rose 0.2 percent and Taiwan edged up 0.04 percent in morning trade.

    Shanghai climbed 0.22 percent and Shenzhen rose 0.35 percent after lawmakers approved reforms to the system for initial public offerings.

    Last week, China’s economic planners said they would combat local government debt and push on with changes in the housing sector to try to shore up growth in the world’s number two-economy.

    In other morning trading, Hong Kong dipped 0.32 percent, while Seoul was down 1.0 percent.

    Sydney and Wellington are closed for a public holiday on Monday.

    Shares in China Telecom dropped as much as three percent after news its head was under investigation for “severe disciplinary violations,” the latest high-profile target in a corruption crackdown.

    Shortly before Tokyo opened, fresh figures showed Japan’s factory output fell in November, after two months of gains, as the economy struggles to mount a recovery.

    The disappointing data—industrial production fell 1.0 percent from a month earlier—comes after separate figures last week showed still-weak inflation and household spending.

    Monday’s decline in factory output was worse than market expectations for 0.4 percent contraction.

    Yusuke Shimoda, an economist at Japan Research Institute, warned that the data underscored weakness in China’s powerhouse economy—a key driver of global growth.
    “One big concern is a slowdown in the Chinese economy, which is pressuring Japanese companies,” he told Agence France-Presse.

    AFP

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