Asian stocks rebounded after recent heavy losses on Friday as investors cheered media reports suggesting that the U.S. Treasury Department has not labeled China as a currency manipulator in an internal report.
Sentiment was also bolstered after data showed China’s exports have so far held up well despite escalating trade tensions with the U.S.
China’s exports logged a double-digit growth in September, figures from customs administration revealed.
Exports grew 14.5 percent year-on-year in September, faster than the 9.8 percent increase seen in August. Imports advanced an annual 14.3 percent, resulting in higher trade surplus of around $32 billion in September.
China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 0.91 percent to 2,606.91 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended up by 2.12 percent at 25,801.49.
Japanese shares finished modestly higher as the yen held broadly lower and data showed Chinese exports strengthened unexpectedly in September.
The Nikkei average fell over 1 percent earlier in the day before reversing direction to end the session up 103.80 points or 0.46 percent at 22,694.66.
However, for the week, the index lost 4.6 percent, marking its biggest weekly drop since March. The broader Topix index ended the day marginally higher at 1,702.45.
Industrial machinery and construction equipment makers rallied as strong Chinese data helped ease worries about slowing Chinese demand. Yaskawa Electric soared 5.6 percent, Komatsu gained 2.3 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery added 2.7 percent. Energy stocks fell, with Japan Petroleum falling 2.8 percent.
Australian markets recovered from a weak start to finish modestly higher as soft U.S. inflation data helped ease fears over aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and Chinese exports data for September came in well above expectations.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 inched up 11.90 points or 0.20 percent to 5,895.70 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 13.10 points or 0.22