By Daniel Inman
Asian stocks moved higher on Monday, with Australia hitting a fresh-five year high, as shares bounced back from recent falls.
Regional markets started the week in recovery mode, following a series of declines last week that hit Japan and China especially hard. A pickup in interbank lending rates in China spooked investors and yanked the Shanghai Composite down 2.8% last week, while a strong yen helped the Nikkei Average sink 3.3% over the same period.
A positive lead from Wall Street, where the S&P 500 (SPX) hit a record high on Friday, and the absence of fresh negative catalysts allowed Asian stocks to bounce back.
The coming week promises to be a busy period in terms of earnings news for the region, while the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting later on in the week will be a focus as investors look for clues on the central bank's stimulus plans.
Looking ahead to November, markets are anticipating an important Communist Party meeting in China, where there are expectations that the country's new government will unveil economic reforms.
Early in Asia, the yen (USDJPY) weakened slightly, with the dollar trading at Yen97.60, compared with Yen97.40 late Friday in New York.
The softer yen allowed the Nikkei Average to climb 1.7%, coming back from a hefty fall on Friday.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1%, and South Korea's Kospi was up 0.3%.
China was mixed, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index up 0.5%, and the Shanghai Composite 0.3% lower.
China Construction Bank (CICHY) rose 0.9% in Hong Kong after China's second-largest bank by profits posted third-quarter net profit that came out slightly below market expectations.
China Life Insurance Co. (LFC) rose 2.2% after China's largest life insurer by premiums reported that it had made a 7.5 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) profit in the third quarter, reversing a 2.2 billion yuan loss in the same period last year.
Also in Hong Kong, Chong Hing Bank sank 7.5% after Chinese conglomerate Yuexiu Enterprises said on Friday it will acquire a majority stake in the Hong Kong lender for $1.5 billion -- the first local-bank sale in several years.
In Tokyo, telecoms firm KDDI Corp. (KDDIF) rose 2.2% after a Nikkei report said that the firm will likely report a record first-half group operating profit, with a 50% on-year increase. TDK Corp. (TTDKF), however, dropped 0.5% after a separate Nikkei report said that the electronics-component producer will report an 8% increase in operating profit over the same period.
Also in Japan, Mizuho Financial Group (MFG) rose 1.5%, after weekend media reports said that its Mizuho Bank unit will reprimand 54 current and former staff for failing to take responsibility for loans to borrowers associated with organized crime.
-Daniel Inman; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
10-28-13 0035ETCopyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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