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Asian stocks extend gains as oil inches higher

Chinese markets also opened in positive territory, with the main Shanghai composite up 0.78%.

 
Asian stocks extend gains as oil inches higher

Asian shares gained on Monday, extending Friday's rally, as the blizzard on the US East coast pushed oil prices higher, helping equities recover from the global rout since the beginning of the year.

Australia's ASX 200 rose 1.28% in morning trade, with the energy sector posting gains of as much as 2.7% after market open.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.46% after seeing an initial period of volatility where the index see-sawed between losses of 0.18% and gains of as much as 1.10%. Across the Korean Strait in Seoul, the Kospi was up 1.02%.

Chinese markets also opened in positive territory, with the main Shanghai composite up 0.78%. Away from the mainland, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 1.50%.

"Markets look set for a solid day in Asia after the ECB-fueled two-day rally last week," said Angus Nicholson, market analyst at spreadbetter IG, in his morning note.

Also aiding the upward move for markets are the gains made in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up by 9.41% for the week, while the global benchmark Brent was up 12.71%.

Oil stocks around the region traded mostly higher, with Santos gaining 1.76%, Woodside Petroleum up 1.57%. Japan's Inpex was up 2.78% and Japan Petroleum higher by 5.20%. South Korea's S-Oil traded 1.88% higher.

Mining stocks traded mixed, with major Australian miners Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton down by 1.79% and 0.33% respectively, while Atlas Iron saw gains of 7.14%.

In Japan, shares of Toyota added 0.32% and Honda fell 0.66%. The dollar-yen pair was down 0.24% from the previous session, trading at 118.47.

Sharp shares, which soared last week on the back of multiple takeover offers from a Japanese state-backed investment firm as well as Taiwanese iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, were down 2.27%.

Elsewhere, shares of Japan Tobacco were up 6.36% after the company said it plans to hike prices on its core cigarette lineup.

Takata shares were down 9.35% after reports emerged that US regulators have announced another recall of 5 million vehicles equipped with its air bag inflators.

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