Asian markets jump out to strong gains to start the week

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Asian stock markets posted nearly across-the-board gains in early trading Monday, with South Korea the lone holdout.

The iron-and-steel sector led gains in Japan, helping push the Nikkei












NIK, +0.91%










  up almost 1%. Kobe Steel












5406, +1.51%










 , Sumitomo Metal












5713, +1.44%










  and Aichi Steel












5482, +1.25%










  were all up more than 1%. That came as the dollar hovered around ¥111.30, providing additional support to the stock market. Toyota












7203, +1.95%










  is up more than 1.6% early. The Nikkei has already risen four straight days.

Hong Kong stocks jumped, with the Hang Seng












HSI, +2.09%










  up 1.8% after two days of declines. Energy and tech shares shined, with Sinopec












0386, +4.92%










  extending recent strength with a 3.8% gain following its earnings report. Tech heavyweight Tencent












0700, +1.47%










  rose 1.4%, turning positive for August.

Chinese stocks started strong, nearly matching the gains seen in Hong Kong. Perhaps helped by the end-of-week jump in the yuan, the Shanghai Composite












SHCOMP, +1.43%










  was up 0.8% and the Shenzhen Composite












399106, +2.01%










  rose 1.6%. Improving expectations about the currency should help equities rebound near-term, Essence Securities said.

Korea’s Kospi












SEU, +0.21%










  was struggling to make gains following its best week since early March. Construction stocks were down sharply, with cement firm Busan












011390, -8.47%










  skidding 11%.

Indexes in Australia












XJO, +0.26%










  and New Zealand












NZ50GR, +0.33%










  were barely up, but benchmarks in Taiwan












Y9999, +0.79%










 , Singapore












STI, +0.67%










  and Malaysia












FBMKLCI, +0.12%










  all gained 0.5% or more in early trading.

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Source : MTV