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Asian shares rise as Chinese market returns from holiday

Chinese market

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5 per cent, Nikkei gained 1.8 per cent, Chinese blue chips rose 0.56 per cent, Hong Kong gained 1 per cent, Australian shares advanced 0.84 per cent

Shares in Asia have risen as the Chinese market returned from a one-week holiday upbeat, tracking a global rally, while investors also eyed key US jobs data for fresh insight into the timing of Federal Reserve tapering.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5 per cent, after rallying 2.1 per cent the day before, its biggest daily gain since August. Japan’s Nikkei index gained 1.8 per cent.

Chinese blue chips rose 0.56 per cent as they resumed trading following the National Day holiday, while Hong Kong gained 1 per cent.

Elsewhere, Australian shares advanced 0.84 per cent helped by mining stocks amid surging commodities prices.

Over the past three months, Chinese shares have been battered by regulatory changes, turmoil in the property sector, and more recently a power crunch, but some investors are now starting to see a buying opportunity.

The debate on China is shifting a bit away from being very negative. People are asking, ‘Is there a way beyond the regulatory uncertainty? How much of this is reflected in prices?’, said Herald van der Linde, Asia Pacific head of equity strategy at HSBC. We’re neutral, we tell people not to be too negative because valuations are low.

The focus remains on the property market as investors wait to see whether regulators take action to contain the contagion from cash-strapped Evergrande’s debt problems.

US futures added 0.16 per cent after the Senate approved legislation to temporarily raise the federal government’s $US28.4 trillion debt limit and avoid the risk of a default later this month.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) added 0.98 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.83 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.05 per cent.

Investors are also keeping an eye on US employment data for September due later on Friday.

They expect employment figures that are near consensus will lead the Federal Reserve to indicate at its November meeting when it will begin tapering its massive stimulus program.

US Treasury yields gained ahead of those figures, with volatility at the shortest end of the curve easing as the plan emerged to avoid a default on government debt.

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