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Asian stocks advance as investors overlook Japan data

February 17, 2014

Asian stocks advanced on Monday following a strong lead from Wall Street on Friday after consumer confidence came in better than expected while in China new credit increased to a record in January, which determined investors to overlook Japan's weak GDP data. US markets will be closed on Monday due to the President's Day holiday. - The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.9% to 136.50 as of 15:08 in Tokyo In Japan, the government released a disappointing gross domestic product report. The economy grew 0.3% from October to December, below estimates for a 0.7% gain. A stronger yen also weighed on sentiment, but stocks rose on believes further monetary easing could be implemented earlier than expected. - Nikkei 225 closed 0.56% higher at 14393.11 - Topix closed 0.70% higher at 1192.05 In China, a report showed that new credit increased to a record in January, boosting optimism the world's second-largest economy can maintain its growth momentum; meanwhile, investors are optimistic ahead of Thursday's HSBC`s flash PMI data. - Shanghai Composite closed 0.92% higher at 2135.41 - Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 1.07% higher at 22535.94 In Australia, stocks extended Friday's gains closing at a 3-month high, while the Australian dollar hit a fresh one-month high as investors digested the latest first-half earnings reports; in South Korea shares extended last week`s gains tracking the rest of Asia. - The S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.50% higher at 5382.89 - New Zealand's NZX 50 closed 0.13% higher at 4894.99 - Kospi closed 0.31% higher at 1946.36

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Source: Financial Markets

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