Asian markets rose following a Wall Street rally as traders shrugged off growing tensions between the West and Russia following Crimea’s vote for Kremlin rule.
After the weekend vote, the result of which was widely expected, attention turned to economic matters. Better than expected US data provided support as investors await the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.
Tokyo rose 0.94 per cent, or 133.60 points, to 14,411.27, Seoul added 0.66 per cent, or 12.68 points, to close at 1,940.21 and Sydney advanced 0.51 per cent, or 27.0 points, to 5,344.6.
Hong Kong climbed 0.51 per cent, or 109.55 points to 21,583.50 while Shanghai closed flat, edging up 1.52 points to 2,025.20.
The United States and European Union on Monday slapped sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, a day after Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to return to Moscow’s fold.
Western governments said they would freeze assets of key Russian presidential aides and MPs and target Crimean “separatist” leaders as well as ousted former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
And President Barack Obama warned of further measures if Moscow continues to intervene in Ukraine.
“The Ukraine situation remains delicate, but at least has not spilled over into violence, despite the opposition by Western powers,” said Daiwa Securities senior strategist Tsuyoshi Nomaguchi.
However, Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management, said: “The bottom line is that it is very difficult to be optimistic under these circumstances because of the material risk that the crisis in the Ukraine will deepen.”
After last week’s heavy sell-off in New York, US shares bounced back on Monday. The Dow jumped 1.13 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.96 per cent and the Nasdaq added 0.81 per cent.
US traders were buoyed by data showing industrial output increased more than expected in February, adding to a growing feeling that the world’s number one economy is on a recovery track.
The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting Tuesday that analysts forecast will see a further cut in its stimulus program.
On forex markets, the dollar fetched 101.60 yen compared with 101.68 yen in New York Monday, while the euro bought $1.3910 and 141.33 yen against $1.3921 and 141.58 yen.
Oil prices rose, with New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for April delivery, up eight cents to $98.16 in afternoon trade. Brent North Sea crude gained 46 cents to $106.70 for its May contract.
Gold fetched $US1,362.05 an ounce at 1050 GMT (2150 AEDT) compared with $US1,378.76 late Monday.
In other markets:
— Mumbai rose 0.10 per cent, or 22.81 points, to end at 21,832.61 points.
Maruti Suzuki rose 7.58 per cent, or 131.75 rupees, to 1,868.85 rupees per share while Financial Technologies gained 4.99 per cent, or 18.00 rupees, to 378.95 rupees per share.
— Jakarta ended down 1.45 per cent, or 70.58 points, at 4,805.61.
Lender Bank Permata gained 3.07 per cent to 1,345 rupiah, while palm oil firm Wilmar Cahaya Indonesia fell 4.81 per cent to 1,485 rupiah.
— Kuala Lumpur gained 5.54 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 1,820.70.
Financial firm CIMB Group Holdings rose 0.7 per cent to 7.05 ringgit, while Telekom Malaysia added 1.2 per cent to 5.87. Axiata Group lost 0.2 per cent to 6.49 ringgit.
— Singapore closed up 0.05 per cent, or 1.70 points, at 3,093.84.
Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 4.03 per cent to Sg$43.84 while Singapore Telecommunications eased 0.57 per cent to Sg$3.52.
— Bangkok lost 0.29 per cent, or 4.02 points, to 1,373.08.
Thai Airways fell 3.97 per cent to 14.50 baht, while power giant Electricity Generating Public Co. lost 3.00 per cent to 129.50 baht.
— Taipei added 0.37 per cent, or 31.84 points, to 8,731.94.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co rose 0.44 per cent to Tw$114.5, while smartphone maker HTC fell 0.66 per cent to Tw$150.0.
— Wellington ended up 0.94 per cent, or 47.64 points, at 5,135.66.
Fletcher Building advanced 1.46 per cent to NZ$9.74 and Telecom gained 1.41 per cent to NZ$2.515.
— Manila jumped 1.04 per cent, or 66.56 points, to 6,466.55.
Ayala Land rose 2.30 per cent to 28.95 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. added 1.20 per cent to 2,698 pesos.