Asian Stocks Rise On China Stimulus Hopes

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People walk past an electronic board displaying graphs of various market indices from around the world outside a brokerage in Tokyo
People walk past an electronic board displaying graphs of various market indices from around the world outside a brokerage in Tokyo November 1, 2011.

Most of the Asian markets rose Monday as investors remained hopeful that stimulus measures would be announced by China to boost its economy as its industrial production growth rate slowed down in August compared to the previous month.

The Chinese Shanghai Composite rose 0.29 percent or 6.17 points to 2133.93. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.21 percent or 40.93 points to 19843.09. Among major gainers were Sands China Ltd (3.78 percent) and Li & Fung Ltd (1.64 percent).

South Korea's KOSPI Composite Index advanced 0.14 percent or 2.75 points to 1932.33. Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose 0.88 percent and those of LG Electronics Inc declined 0.28 percent.

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average was down 0.13 percent or 11.31 points to 8860.34. Among major losers were Sumco Corp (4.65 percent), Tosoh Corp (3.09 percent) and Japan Tobacco Inc (2.86 percent).

India's BSE Sensex was up 0.21 percent or 38.10 points to 17787.75. Among major gainers were Cipla (0.97 percent), SAIL Ltd (0.89 percent) and Axis Bank Ltd (0.66 percent).

China's industrial production grew at a reduced pace in August compared to that in July, indicating that the weakening global demand and the debt burden faced by the euro zone are adversely affecting the country's economy. The data released Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that China's industrial production rose by 8.9 percent in August compared to the same month a year earlier, down from the 9.2 percent increase in July.

There have been fears of a hard landing after data showed earlier last month that China's economy slowed down to 7.6 percent in the second quarter, down from 8.1 percent in the first quarter. Beijing is targeting a growth rate of 7.5 percent this year. In 2011 and 2010, the economy grew by 9.2 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively.

Also China reported a trade surplus of $26.66 billion in August amid the slower-than-expected growth in exports and imports, raising concern that the world's second largest economy was not doing enough to stimulate the economy and avert a slowdown.

The customs data released Monday show that exports advanced just 2.7 percent in August compared to that in the same month last year, up from 1 percent in June. Imports dropped 2.6 percent in August compared to that in the same month last year, down from 4.7 percent rise in July. This has raised expectation among investors that China's government will soon announce monetary easing measures to revive the economic growth.

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