Investing.com - Asian shares gained on strong HSBC flash PMI data out of China on Monday that was better than expected and pushed the reading into expansion for the first time in six months.
The June preliminary reading of the HSBC manufacturing index for China came in at 50.8, beating expectations of 49.7 and moving into expansion territory from final 49.4 in May.
"The HSBC Flash China Manufacturing PMI reading rebounded to a year to date high of 50.8 in June," said HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin.
"The improvement was broad-based with both domestic orders and external demand sub-indices in expansionary territory. Inventory reduction quickened, and the employment sub-index also showed signs of stabilization. Thismonth''s improvement is consistent with data suggesting that the authorities mini-stimulus are filtering through to the real economy. Over the next few months, infrastructure investments and related sectors will continue to support the recovery. We expect policy makers to continue their current path of accommodative policy stance until the recovery is sustained."
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.33%, while the Hang Seng was up 0.33% in the morning session.
Australia''s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6, with mining stocks in Sydney, which have been under pressure in recent sessions, adding to earlier gains that were sparked by a pickup in iron ore prices on Friday. Fortescue Metals Group added 4.7% and Atlas Iron climbed 5%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.4% as a softer yen supported the market. South Korea''s KOSPI was up 0.4%,
Last week, U.S. stocks finished Friday higher in a session void of major economic indicators, as investors digested the Federal Reserve''s somewhat dovish Wednesday policy statement and traded on sentiments that borrowing costs will remain low for some time to come.
The Dow 30 rose 0.15%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.17%, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose 0.20%.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday left benchmark interest rates unchanged at 0.00-0.25% and cut its monthly bond-buying program to $35 billion from $45 billion in a widely expected move.
While the Fed did not clear up uncertainty over how much time will elapse from when bond purchases end and rate hikes begin, language suggested that markets should be comfortable knowing borrowing costs will remain low for a while.
Energy stocks saw gains stemming from the Iraqi insurgency.
Iraqi security forces fought with Sunni militants for control of a 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery on Thursday, which pressured prices higher by stoking supply concerns.
Still, many of the country''s major oilfields remain far south of the fighting, which kept broader stock prices somewhat steady.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he was sending up to 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq and added he was prepared to take "targeted" military action later if deemed necessary.
Iraq produced approximately 3.5 million barrels a day of oil last month, making it OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer behind Saudi Arabia.
On Monday, the euro zone is to release data on manufacturing and service sector activity, while Germany and France are to release individual reports.
The U.S. is to release preliminary data on manufacturing activity and private sector data on existing home sales.