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Asian shares higher, Tokyo boosted by Abe poll win

A visitor stands near “Charging Bull” statue in Shanghai, China, Monday, July 22, 2013. Asian stocks mostly rose on Monday following a mixed lead from Wall Street, while Tokyo was boosted by a parliamentary election win for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party. AP PHOTO/EUGENE HOSHIKO

HONG KONG—Asian shares mostly rose on Monday following a mixed lead from Wall Street, while Tokyo was boosted by a parliamentary election win for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party.

Tokyo added 0.47 percent, or 68.13 points, to 14,658.04 and Sydney gained 0.60 percent, or 29.8 points, to close at 5,001.9. Seoul rose 0.48 percent, or 8.94 points, to 1,880.35.

Hong Kong climbed 0.25 percent, or 54.08 points, to 21,416.50 and Shanghai was up 0.61 percent, or 12.11 points, at 2,004.76.

Bangkok was closed for a public holiday.

Japan’s Nikkei rallied more than one percent in the first few minutes of the day before settling back following Sunday’s upper house election victory for the Liberal Democratic Party, which will likely usher in a period of political stability for Japan.

The win means both chambers of parliament will be under government control, unblocking the bottleneck that has hampered legislation for the past six short-term premiers.

That will strengthen Abe’s hand as he tries to push through structural reforms aimed at dragging Japan out of two decades of economic malaise.

In Shanghai, traders sold financial stocks after the government at the weekend removed a lower limit on lending rates, leaving banks free to set their own rates. Analysts said the move could result in narrower interest margins for lenders.

Focus will now be on the release on Wednesday of Chinese manufacturing data that will provide a fresh clue about the state of the world’s No. 2 economy.

Wall Street ended mixed Friday as weak corporate results from tech firms offset a strong showing for industrials. The Dow ended flat, while the S&P 500 was up 0.16 percent and the Nasdaq fell 0.66 percent.

The dollar slipped to 100.00 yen, from 100.50 yen in New York Friday, while the euro bought 131.58 yen and $1.3161, compared with 132.08 yen and $1.3142.

On oil markets, New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in August, rose 25 cents to $108.30 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for September was up 35 cents at $108.42.

Gold cost $1,317.21 per ounce at 1050 GMT, compared with $1,289.56 late Friday.

In other markets:

– Mumbai edged up 0.05 percent, or 9.27 points, to 20,159.12.

India’s housing finance firm HDFC rose 3.17 percent to 829.0 rupees but engineering giant Larsen and Toubro slid 7.46 percent to 901.95 rupees, on lower-than-expected quarterly earnings growth.

– Jakarta ended down 0.96 percent, or 45.43 points, at 4,678.98.

Carmaker Astra International lost 1.50 percent to 6,550 rupiah, while Hero Supermarket fell 3.76 percent to 3,200 rupiah.

– Kuala Lumpur ended flat at 1,797.68.

Electric utility Tenaga fell 1.0 percent to 9.21 ringgit, while Telekom Malaysia shed 0.2 percent to 5.25. IHH Healthcare added 2.0 percent to 4.09 ringgit.

– Singapore closed up 0.66 percent, or 21.09 points, at 3,234.35.

Singapore Telecom rose 2.63 percent to Sg$3.90 and United Overseas Bank gained 0.90 percent at Sg$21.29.

– Taipei rose 0.54 percent, or 43.42 points, to 8,105.45.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. slipped 1.22 percent to Tw$97.0, while leading chip design house MediaTek was up 2.48 percent at Tw$330.5.

– Manila rose 0.10 percent, or 6.34 points, to 6,627.36.

SM Prime Holdings rose 2.46 percent to 18.34 pesos, Metropolitan Bank advanced 1.57 percent to 109.70 pesos, and Philippine Long Distance Telephone added 1.55 percent to 3,016 pesos.

– Wellington added 0.35 percent, or 15.74 points, to 4,554.04.

Telecom was up 1.09 percent at NZ$2.315, Fletcher Building rose 0.24 percent to NZ$8.50 and Chorus was steady at NZ$2.65.

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Tags: Asia , Finance , Forex , gold price , oil prices , stocks

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