Tokyo gained 0.33 percent, Hong Kong climbed 0.94 percent, Sydney rose 0.52 percent, Seoul added 0.49 percent while Shanghai was up 0.16 percent. Regional sentiment was supported by gains on Wall Street on Friday as fears receded over the health of a troubled Portuguese bank that rocked markets late last week.
Focus turned to China, which is due to release second quarter GDP figures on Wednesday along with other data including industrial production and retail sales numbers. The data comes as recent concerns over economic prospects for China — a key driver of world growth — have eased owing to a pick-up in key indicators in the second quarter and government stimulus measures to boost the economy. But an AFP survey predicted that growth failed to accelerate in the three months to June, with the world’s second-largest economy forecast to record its worst annual performance in 24 years. China’s GDP expanded 7.4 percent on-year in that period — a result that would put it in line with the first quarter’s expansion — according to the median forecast in AFP’s survey of 17 economists.
Investors will also be looking out for US retail sales data and the minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy meeting, which are both out on Tuesday. On Thursday, US housing starts data will be released. US stocks ended slightly up on Friday following a handful of mixed earnings reports in the coming week and as officials in Lisbon took steps to allay concerns over a possible banking crisis. Troubles at Portugal’s largest listed lender, Banco Espirito Santo, had raised fears of a possible default and a return to the dark days of the eurozone debt crisis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.17 percent to 16,943.81 and the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.15 percent to 1,967.57. On oil markets US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was up two cents to $100.85 in early morning trade and Brent crude for August added five cents to $106.71. The dollar exchanged hands at 101.37 yen in early Tokyo trade on Monday, up from 101.23 yen in New York Friday afternoon. And the euro bought $1.3602 and 137.87 yen against $1.3604 and 137.78 yen in US trade. Gold fetched $1,335.80 an ounce at 0235 GMT compared with $1,335.62 late Friday. -bworldonline