Hang Seng, Nikkei lead market gains in Asia
By Kenan Machado
Positive U.S. data, fresh records on Wall Street brighten investors' outlook
Asian equity markets were broadly higher on Tuesday, with stocks in Hong Kong and Japan leading gains to track overnight strength on Wall Street, thanks to upbeat U.S. data.
The Hang Seng Index opened the fourth quarter with a 1.6% gain, in part catching up to the region's gains on Monday, when the city's stock exchange was shut for a holiday. Markets in China and South Korea are closed for the entire week.
Key Hong Kong heavyweights surged, led by a 7.3% rise in car maker Geely (0175.HK) , following Morgan Stanley's rating upgrade to overweight. Tech giant Tencent (0700.HK) added 2.2%, while lender HSBC (HSBA.LN) was up 1%.
Gains in Hong Kong come after all major U.S. stock indexes notched fresh records on Monday, as data helped bolster optimism about the economy.
Manufacturing activity in the U.S. reached a 13-year high in September, with the Institute for Supply Management's reading on Monday exceeding economist expectations. But some analysts advise investors to be cautious.
"With the market pricing in so much optimism we are vigilantly watching U.S. data, as the recurring weakness could see it coming down like dominoes," said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers in Australia.