Asian Markets: Japanese banking shares on the rise

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Asian markets rose Tuesday, following Wall Street's rebound. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2 percent to close at 9,692, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng posted a 1.9 percent gain to close at 20,812. The markets in China were shut for the Golden Week holiday.

In Japan, the banking sector fared well after the financial services minister said that lenders would not have to classify loans that borrowers are postponing repayments on as bad debt. He also said he would seek to encourage financial institutions to provide more loans to small businesses.

On this news Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) gained 4.4 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (SMFJY) rose 3.6 percent. Nomura Holdings Inc. (NMR) climbed 4.4 percent with overseas investors placing more orders than expected for new shares in the brokerage firm. Japanese property stocks also rose today with Mitsubishi Estate Co (MITEY) adding 3.7 percent and Mitsui Fudosan Co. (MTSFF) up 2.9 percent.

Japanese carmakers added value with Mazda Motor Corp. (MZDAF) jumping 7.6 percent after announcing it plans to invest heavily in hybrid technology. Many feel this move is long overdue and has caused the car company to lag behind its rivals. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY) advanced 3.7 percent, Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) added 2.1 percent and Honda Motor Co. (HMC) was up 1.2 percent.

In Hong Kong, gold mining shares surged after the price of gold hit $1,021: Zhaojin Mining Industry Co. Ltd. (ZHAOF) soared 7.4 percent, Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. (ZIMF) shot up 6.3 percent, Real Gold Mining Ltd. increased 6.4 percent and Lingbao Gold Co. (LGBOF) added 4.2 percent. Commodity stocks were also on the rise with Jiangxi Copper Co. Ltd. (JIXAY) climbing 4.1 percent, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (SNP) adding 3.4 percent and PetroChina Co Ltd. (PTR) up 3 percent.

China Resources Cement Holdings Ltd. debuted in Hong Kong today, closing at its offer price and breaking the losing streak that has plagued the region's last five IPOs. It ended the day at HK$ 3.90 despite dropping as much as 4.4 percent during the trading session.

Hong Kong-listed Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (CPCAF) surged 6.1 percent after saying it had beat its yearly average filling 84 percent of its seats during July and August. But Bloomberg reports that according to the International Air Transport Association, Asian airlines have cut ticket prices so deeply that they are selling at "profitless levels". As the airline industry is predicted to lose $11 billion globally this year, it's nice to see an airline stock taking off today regardless of profitability.
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