Asian shares gain as markets await details from China meeting

Asian shares gain as markets await details from China meeting
A dealer counts US currency notes at a money changer in Singapore. Asian shares mostly gain higher on Tuesday.

HONG KONG - Asian shares were mostly higher on Tuesday amid a lack of trading cues, as markets awaited the outcome of a major political meeting on economic reforms in China.

Tokyo closed up 2.23 per cent, with the Nikkei 225 index gaining 318.84 points to 14,588.68 as a weaker yen buoyed exporters.

Seoul rose 0.92 per cent, with a rally in Samsung shares helping lift the KOSPI 18.18 points to close at 1,995.48.

Shanghai shares closed up 0.82 per cent on Tuesday ahead of an expected official announcement about the meeting of China's ruling Communist Party, due to end Tuesday after four days.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 17.30 points to 2,126.77.

"The market is still focusing on the Third Plenum," Zheshang Securities analyst Zhang Yanbing told Dow Jones Newswires, referring to the meeting.

"Investors are chasing stocks that are most likely to get policy catalysts," he added, identifying healthcare and insurance providers as among favoured companies.

Hong Kong stocks closed 0.73 per cent lower, with many investors staying on the sidelines before the end of the policy meeting. The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended down 168.44 points at 22,901.41.

Manila closed up 0.94 per cent following recent losses as the Philippines reels from super typhoon Haiyan, with well over 10,000 people feared dead and the magnitude of the disaster continuing to build.

In Japan, Shinkin Asset Management fund manager Naoki Fujiwara said the weaker yen remained the dominant trading cue as it boosted exporters' earnings.

"There is very little (other) news or data to trade on, with earnings releases thus far having been unexciting, or even disappointing with few impressive upward forecast revisions," he said.

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