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Asian shares lifted by Wall Street gains, oil price

Investors focus on policy decisions this week by the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve and others.

Asian shares lifted by Wall Street gains, oil price

Asian stocks rose on Monday in morning session, extending Friday's gains, buoyed by gains on Wall Street, firmer crude prices and glimmers of strength in weekend data from China.

The Japanese Nikkei 225 was up 2.08%, extending Friday's 0.51% increase, while the South Korean Kospi added 0.16%, after finishing up 0.11% on Friday.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 traded up 0.66%, following a 0.32% gain on Friday, buoyed by early gains in financials. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng added 1.48%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index surged 2.47%.

Chinese economic data over the weekend showed industrial production and retail sales both slowed in the first two months of the year, highlighting the pressure leaders face to meet this year’s growth target.

Investors will now be focusing on policy decisions this week by the Bank of Japan, the Federal Reserve and others after stocks jumped on Friday as investors reevaluated the European Central Bank’s stimulus.

In company news, Japanese exporters mostly traded up, with shares of Toyota adding 0.77%, Nissan gaining 1.64% and Honda higher by 1.17%. The Japanese yen remained at the 113 handle against the greenback.

Energy plays were mixed, with Santos up 2.98%, Oil Search lower by 0.83% and Inpex adding 1.53%. Chinese mainland oil plays were up, with Sinopec adding 2.97% and China Oilfield gaining 2.22%.

In corporate news, shares of Telstra were up 2.13% after the company announced that it was ending its joint venture negotiations with Philippine conglomerate San Miguel.

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