CANBERA (Alliance News) - Asian stocks rose broadly on Tuesday, as investors digested solid US data and a report showed oil exports from Iraq remained unaffected by ongoing violence in the country. After meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he had been assured by the embattled leader that he would meet a July deadline to form a new inclusive government.
Japanese shares erased earlier losses to finish marginally higher at a fresh five-month high before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's speech on economic policy later in the day, where he is expected to unveil the reform plans of his 'third arrow' strategy. The benchmark Nikkei average edged up 0.05% to 15,376.24, while the broader Topix Index added 0.08%. Canon rose 0.3%, machinery maker Komatsu advanced 0.6%, Daiichi Sankyo gained 1.5% and automaker Isuzu Motors rallied 1.6%.
Suntory Beverage & Food climbed 2.7% on a report that parent Suntory Holdings has appointed Takeshi Niinami as its new president. Toppan Printing rose 0.3% on reports it plans to construct a new plant Georgia USA for manufacturing transparent barrier films. Inpex Corp. tumbled 3.3% after recent gains as crude prices extended losses in Asian trading on easing concerns over supply disruptions due to the violence in Iraq. NTT Data Corp, Honda Motor, Yahoo Japan Corp, Nippon Paper Industries and Mitsui Fudosan fell 1-2%.
Shares in mainland China and Hong Kong rebounded from Monday's losses, although gains remained modest on concerns about the state of China's economy. While the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.47% to 2,033.93, Hong Kong'sHang Seng Index added 0.33% to close at 22,880.64.
A leading economic index for China continued to expand in May, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from the Conference Board revealed. The group's leading economic index as well as the coincident index both rose 0.7% last month to 290.2 and 259.7, respectively.
Australian shares declined, tracking weak leads from offshore markets. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.4% to 5,432.8, dragged down by banks and miners. The big four banks fell between 0.3% and 1.1%, mining giant Rio Tinto lost 0.8% and Fortescue Metals Group slid 0.7%, while gold miner Newcrest rose 0.6% and Northern Star Resources rallied 2.8%.
David Jones shares soared 4%. South Africa's Woolworths has reportedly offered to buy retailer billionaire Solomon Lew out of his near 12% stake in fashion retailer Country Road, in a bid to move closer to acquiring David Jones in a USD2.2 billion deal. Energy stocks drifted lower, with Oil Search closing down 0.6% and Santos declining 0.7% as crude prices retreated. CSL lost a percent after a share buyback. Ten Network Holdings jumped 6% on speculation of a private equity takeover.
Seoul shares rallied, led by gains in heavyweights such as Hyundai Motors and Hyundai Motors as encouraging manufacturing data out of China, Japan and the US brightened the outlook for global economic growth. The benchmark Kospi average gained 0.98% to finish at 1,994.35, its biggest single-day gain in two weeks.
New Zealand stocks declined, dragged down by Kathmandu Holdings after the outdoor apparel and equipment retailer warned its annual earnings may come 10-15% lower as a result of warm weather in its main markets of Australia and New Zealand. Shares of the company plunged 11.5% to a two-month low. Pacific Edge dropped 2.5% to an eight-month low while travel firm Serko fell 14% to 95 cents on its first day of trading. The benchmark NZX-50 Index edged down 0.1% to 5,121.21.
India's Sensex was rallying 1.3%, snapping a four-day losing streak, as worries about potential disruptions to supply from Iraq eased. Elsewhere, the benchmark indexes in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan were up between 0.2% and 0.4%. Taiwan's industrial production continued to rise in May, though at a slower rate, a preliminary report showed.
US stocks ended almost flat overnight, as investors digested mixed manufacturing data from China and Europe and kept a wary eye on developments in major oil-producer Iraq. Closer home, US manufacturing expanded at its fastest rate in more than four years in June, while sales of previously-owned homes posted the best monthly gain in nearly three years, separate reports showed.