Asia stocks advance; Australia, China up
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Asian markets ended higher Tuesday, with gains in
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index (XJO) rose 0.4% to 4,402.7, its highest closing level since May 4.
The Shanghai Composite Index (000001) advanced 0.5% and the Shenzhen Composite Index added 1.4%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSI) ended little changed, shedding 4 points, dragged down by weakness in
Regionally, stocks were higher, with the Asia Dow edging up 0.5% to 2,727 in late afternoon trades in east Asia.
Asian stocks have gained between 0.4% and 5.3% so far this month, but Credit Agricole strategists said that they expected range-trading in Asia as "investors await Federal Open Market Committee minutes tomorrow and potential euro-zone decisions on its sovereign-debt crisis later in the week."
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, said: "we have arrived at valuation levels where investors will find it more difficult to buy aggressively without more certainty on proposed European initiatives."
Stimulus optimism emerged on Tuesday, after a report Tuesday in the state-run Xinhua news agency's Economic Information Daily, which said China is considering the introduction of measures to boost domestic consumption this year. Such measures would likely include encouraging the use of credit, the report said without citing sources.
Energy firms led the way higher in Australia.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (WPL) (WOPEF) advanced 2.5% after
While Cnooc weighed on Hong Kong, some gains helped limit the index's losses, including a 2.2% rise for casino operator
Hong Kong-listed shares of mainland China retailer
Machinery firms also weighed on the Tokyo market, with
In Korean trade,
However, the Seoul market found support from chip maker
In other regional action, India's Senex was up 0.6% late in trading, and Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.2%. Both markets were closed Monday for public holidays.