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Asia stocks rally as yen retreats

Chinese markets started the day on a positive note, with the main Shanghai composite index up 0.96%.

 
Asia stocks rally as yen retreats

Asian stocks markets shrugged off a slow start early Monday as the yen’s retreat sparked a revival in Japanese shares and investors awaited manufacturing data from Japan and Europe.

The Japanese benchmark index, the Nikkei 225, which wavered between gains and losses after market open, was up 0.82% as of 11.31 a.m. as the yen snapped a two-day climb.

Chinese markets started the day on a positive note, with the main Shanghai composite index up 0.96%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up by 1.12%. The weekend ouster of China’s chief market regulator has sparked equity advances in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.89%, with most sectors up in the green. The heavily weighted financials sector gained 0.80%.

Energy stocks in the region traded mostly lower, with shares of Santos down 1.33%, Woodside Petroleum declining 1.28% and Inpex losing 2.60%. But Japan's Fuji Oil and Australia's Oil Search bucked the trend to trade up 0.98% each. Oil prices, which remain at multi-year lows, saw some gains with US crude up 0.88% at $29.90 a barrel.

In earnings report, Bluescope Steel’s shares jumped 1.82% after the Australian steelmaker reported net profit of A$200.1 million ($142.8 million) for the six months to 31 December, up from A$92.7 million in the year-earlier period.

Brambles surged 9.09% after the logistics firm reported net profit for the six months to 31 December rose 2% on-year to $290.9 million and increased its full year guidance.

One of Singapore's biggest lenders, DBS Group, added 1.61% after it reported net profit for the three months ended 31 December rose 20% on-year to 1 billion Singapore dollars ($711 million).

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