Investing.com - Asian stock markets were mostly higher on Monday, as hopes for fresh economic stimulus in China and a continued U.S. economic recovery contributed to gains.
During late Asian trade, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index rose 0.1%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index inched down 0.45%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index closed 0.52% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index ended up 0.9%.
Shares in mainland China and Hong Kong fluctuated between small gains as investors looked ahead to key Chinese manufacturing data due on Tuesday.
Sentiment remained supported amid indications that China’s government is prepared to do more to shore up the cooling economy.
China Construction Bank (0939.HK) shares jumped 1% after the nation’s second-largest lender reported a better-than-expected 11% increase in 2013 net income.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, the Nikkei rose for the fourth consecutive session as the yen held near the previous session’s one-week low of 102.98 against the U.S. dollar, boosting exporters.
Automakers Mazda (7261.TOK) and Honda (7267.TOK)saw shares rise 4.3% and 2.3% respectively, while Sony (6758.TOK) rallied 4%.
Elsewhere, in Australia, the ASX/200 Index ended higher as gains in the mining sector boosted the benchmark index.
Mining heavyweights BHP Billiton (BHP.ASX) and Rio Tinto Ltd (RIO.ASX) climbed 0.9% and 0.5% respectively, while Mount Gibson Iron (MGX.ASX) and Sundance Resources (SDL.ASX) picked up 4% and 4.4%.
Looking ahead, European stock market futures pointed to a modestly higher open ahead of the release of preliminary data on consumer price inflation.
The Euro Stoxx 50 futures pointed to a gain of 0.3%, France’s CAC 40 futures rose 0.3%, London’s FTSE 100 futures indicated a gain of 0.2%, while Germany''s DAX futures added 0.35%.
Across the Atlantic, U.S. equity markets also pointed to a firm open. The Dow Jones futures pointed to a gain of 0.3%, S&P 500 futures inched up 0.35%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a rise of 0.4%.