Asian equities were mostly higher on Monday as investors brushed off weak data, with China’s benchmark index rising to a three-year high.
Chinese trade data revealed a sharp slowdown in November exports and imports. Still, the country’s trade surplus rose to $54.5 billion, beating estimates.
“Overall, this data is likely to drive stimulus expectations. Investors are hoping to see an RRR cut and with a raft of releases out of China this week, any disappointment will drive these expectations higher,” said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG.
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A strong lead from Wall Street also boosted sentiment. The S&P 500 and Dow ended at record highs on Friday after U.S. employers created 321,000 jobs last month, the largest gain since January 2012.
Shanghai up 2.8%
China’s benchmark index crossed the 3,000 level for the first time since April 2011, gaining for a fifth straight session. For the week that ended Friday, the Shanghai Composite rallied over 9 percent, its best weekly performance in five years, according to Reuters.
Brokerages outperformed with Hong Yuan Securities, CITIC Securities and Haitong Securities surging by the daily 10 percent limit.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index rose to a one-and-a-half-week high, extending gains into a third session.
ASX 0.7% higher
Qantas surged 14 percent after announcing that it expects to post its best first-half profit in four years, expecting a figure between A$300 million and A$350 million.
Japanese shares pared gains after breaching the 18,000 level but the index still closed at a new seven-and-a-half-year high while the yen moved off a seven-year trough of 121.84 per dollar hit in early trade.
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