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Energy, financial shares boost Asian markets

SoftBank soared 16% after announcing a purchase of as many as 167 million shares.

Energy, financial shares boost Asian markets

Asian stocks traded mostly higher on Tuesday in late morning trade as energy and financials climbed and SoftBank Group Corp. surged.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1% to 119 as of 12:09 p.m. in Tokyo, after falling as much as 0.6% earlier. Japan’s Topix rose 1.2%, erasing an early loss, as SoftBank soared 16% after announcing a buyback plan. SoftBank will purchase as many as 167 million shares, or 14.2% of its stock, using cash holdings and the proceeds of asset sales.

Investors speculated a global selloff had gone too far and optimism increased that the Bank of Japan will increase stimulus.

China shares rose the most in two weeks after data showed the nation’s banks doled out a record amount of loans in January. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 2.6% and the Hang Seng Index gained 1.6% and Taiwan’s Taiex Index advanced 1.3%.

South Korea’s Kospi index gained 1.4% after the central bank kept its benchmark interest rates on hold. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3%. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index climbed 0.4% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.6%.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated on Monday his willingness to act should financial turmoil threaten price stability.

Speculation is intensifying that China’s government will add to monetary and policy stimulus after data on Monday showed a slide in exports. Premier Li Keqiang said that his country will take decisive actions when needed.

In commodities, crude oil extended its advance, adding 4.2% amid prospects of a meeting between Saudi Arabia and Russia, which buoyed energy producers.

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