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Asia: Stocks gain as oil rebounds, weaker yen boosts Japan shares


[SINGAPORE] Asian stocks rose, following US shares higher as crude oil advanced for the first time in five days. Japanese shares rebounded from the biggest drop in two weeks as the yen retreated.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1.4 per cent to 132.04 as of 9:10 am in Tokyo. US stocks advanced, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing above the 18,000 level for the first time since July, as investors shook off oil's losses on failed output talks and looked toward a bevy of corporate earnings this week. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.8 per cent in early Tuesday trading.

"There appears to be less skepticism, with investors shrugging off oil's losses overnight," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said by phone.

"Pessimism in analysts expectations in the lead-up to the US earnings season appears overdone. There's room for an upward surprise."

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Japan's Topix index climbed 2.9 per cent after slumping 3 per cent on Monday as the yen weakened to 109.10 per US dollar. Investors continued weighing the economic fallout from Thursday's earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in southwestern Japan that killed 44 people and left hundreds injured. The quake forced the closure of factories at companies such as Sony Corp and Toyota Motor Corp.

South Korea's Kospi index added 0.1 per cent.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index increased 0.6 per cent. New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 Index rose less than 0.1 per cent.

Markets in China and Hong Kong have yet to start trading.

Futures on the FTSE China A50 Index gained 0.7 per cent in their most recent trading, while those for the Hang Seng Index climbed 1.1 per cent. The Shanghai Composite Index declined 1.4 per cent on Monday, the most in three weeks.

Real-estate developers fell as data that showed home-price gains accelerating in March sparked concern the government will act to cool the property market.

E-mini futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained less than 0.1 per cent. The US equity benchmark index rose 0.7 per cent on Monday to the highest close since Dec 1 after Hasbro Inc and Morgan Stanley reported earnings that beat analyst estimates.