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Asian shares rally following Wall St gains

Asian shares mostly rose on Tuesday, taking their lead from a second straight advance on Wall Street while investors await a string of market-moving news and data over the next few days.

HONG KONG: Asian shares mostly rose on Tuesday, taking their lead from a second straight advance on Wall Street, while investors await a string of market-moving news and data over the next few days.

The broad Asian gains add to Monday's positive performance and provided support to the dollar after it took a hit last week.

Tokyo rose 0.78 per cent, or 119.84 points, to 15,416.66 thanks to the weaker yen, with investors largely unmoved by the Bank of Japan's expected decision to stand pat on monetary policy.

Seoul jumped 0.94 per cent, or 18.84 points, to end at 2,012.72 and Sydney closed flat, edging down 0.1 points to 5,511.3.

Shanghai closed 0.18 per cent higher, adding 3.71 points to 2,070.36. Hong Kong added 0.49 per cent, or 113.29 points, to 23,459.96.

New York's three main indexes ended higher on Monday thanks to better-than-forecast earnings from banking titan Citigroup, which was described by Wall Street rival Bank of America Merrill Lynch as "encouraging for large peers that report earnings this week". The Dow rose 0.66 per cent, the S&P 500 advanced 0.48 per cent and the Nasdaq put on 0.56 per cent.

In Japan, the central bank held off announcing any widening of its stimulus programme, saying the economy was recovering despite April's sales tax rise, although it revised down its growth forecast for the fiscal year to March.

"It came as no surprise that the BoJ left policy settings unchanged today and presented upbeat inflation forecasts, but we still think more easing will be announced in October," said Marcel Thieliant from Capital Economics.

Later Tuesday, US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen will begin two days of congressional testimony, with traders hoping for more detail on the bank's time-frame for raising interest rates. Also in sight is the US retail sales report for June and earnings from some major US companies, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

However, the main focus this week in Asia is on China's second-quarter gross domestic product growth figures, which are due on Wednesday. 

On currency markets, the buoyant sentiment provided support to the dollar, which edged up as investors grew more confident about risk. In early trade, the greenback was changing hands at 101.58 yen against 101.54 yen in New York on Monday and well up from the 101.25 yen at the end of last week. The euro bought $1.3619 and 138.30 yen against $1.3619 and 138.29 yen in US trade.

Oil prices were mixed. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was down 17 cents to $100.74 while Brent crude eased 32 cents to $106.66 in late trade.

Gold dipped. It fetched $1,312.34 an ounce at 1115 GMT compared with $1,321.37 late Monday.

In other markets:

-- Mumbai rose 0.89 per cent, or 221.67 points, to end at 25,228.65 points.

Financial Technologies was up 10.00 per cent or 22.15 rupees at 243.70 rupees and Piramal Enterprises was down 9.83 per cent or 68.80 rupees at 631.00 rupees.

-- Bangkok lost 0.31 per cent, or 4.70 points, to 1,524.53.

Supermarket operator Big C Supercenter added 1.44 per cent to 212.00 baht, while telecoms company Advanced Info Service dropped 1.33 per cent to 222.00 baht.

-- Singapore was up 0.01 per cent, or 0.44 points, to 3,291.42.

Container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines was unchanged at 94 cents and vehicle distributor Jardine Cycle and Carriage closed 0.90 per cent higher at Sg$45.90.

-- Jakarta rose 0.99 per cent, or 49.76 points, to 5,070.82.

State miner Aneka Tambang gained 0.89 per cent at 1,130 rupiah, while polyester manufacturer Asia Pacific Fibers lost 1.64 per cent at 60 rupiah.

-- Taipei gained 0.51 per cent, or 48.87 points, to 9,569.17.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.38 per cent higher at NT$133.0 while Hon Hai Precision gained 0.91 per cent to NT$111.0.

-- Wellington fell 0.24 per cent, or 12.47 points, to 5,115.40.

Fletcher Building was down 0.11 per cent at NZ$8.87 and Telecom eased 0.73 per cent to NZ$2.73.

-- Manila ended flat, nudging up 3.67 points to 6,834.04.

LT Group rose 3.79 per cent to 15.88 pesos, BDO Unibank was up 0.50 per cent at 90.55 pesos and Alliance Global added 0.90 per cent to 28.10 pesos.

-- Kuala Lumpur was closed for a public holiday.

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