Feb 08, 2013 03:25 PM IST | Source:

Asian shares rise on strong China data

Asian shares rise on strong China data

Friday 03:30 GMT. Asian shares were mostly higher after China posted stronger than expected trade data for the first month of the year.

Imports to China rose 28.8 per cent last month from a year earlier, while exports jumped 25 per cent, although both numbers were skewed by the seasonal effect of the early Chinese New Year holiday in 2012.

"These data suggest that external and domestic demand are both strong, which supports our view that the economy is on track for a cyclical recovery in H1", wrote Nomura's Zhang Zhiwei in a note to clients. The country will also release inflation data later in the day.

Chinese shares rose as automakers and retailers surged before the start of a week-long holiday. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.4 per cent, while the Hang Seng edged up by 0.2 per cent.

SAIC Motor climbed 4.5 per cent, leading other automakers higher, after China's passenger vehicle sales exceeded estimates last month.

The Nikkei 225 bucked the regional trend, sinking 1.4 per cent on a firmer yen, having hit a multiyear high on Wednesday.

Sony tumbled as much as 10.2 per cent after the electronics company cut its sales forecast for TVs and portable game players in the year ending March.

South Korea's Kospi Composite index gained 0.2 per cent as automakers rebounded from recent losses with Hyundai Motor surging 3.5 per cent and its affiliate Kia Motors jumping 3.6 per cent. Taiwan's benchmark index rose 0.3 per cent.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6 per cent after the Reserve Bank of Australia presented an upbeat economic outlook, saying that a series of interest rate cuts it made over the past year had started to take effect. Newcrest Mining jumped 3.9 per cent after Australia's largest gold producer reported first-half profit was higher than estimates.

Friday is the last trading day ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. Markets in mainland China and Taiwan will be closed all of next week while the Hong Kong market will resume trading on Thursday.

In currency markets, the yen was little changed at Y93.50 per dollar, having hit Y93.92 during European afternoon trade on Thursday.

In commodities markets, US crude futures were steady at $95.80 a barrel after falling in the previous session amid pressure from growing domestic stockpile in the Midwest.

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