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China shares lead Asia rally as reform plans buoy mood

Updated: 2013-11-18 15:17
( Agencies)

SYDNEY - Asian share markets advanced for a third straight session on Monday, cheered both by the prospect of extended stimulus in the United States and real economic reform in China.

China's market put on over 1 percent, with UBS upgrading it to "overweight" on a view the Plenum reforms will likely see it outperform Asia ex-Japan for the next few months.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japanadded 1.1 percent, having boasted its best daily rise in almost two months on Friday.

China unwrapped surprisingly bold reforms and it helped the Shanghai Composite rise 1.5 percent for its third straight session of gains, while Hong Kong's China Enterprises index surged over 4 percent.

"Multiple growth-friendly measures were announced and represent the biggest freeing up of China's economic policy since the 1990s," said analysts at ANZ in a note.

"Our China economists think that if these reforms are implemented successfully it will substantially reduce the downside risks to China's economy."

A soft yen helped Tokyo's Nikkei add another 0.1 percent to reach a six-month peak. The index amassed its biggest weekly rise in four years last week.

The US dollar was trading at 100.10 yen on Monday, not far from its two-month high of 100.43. The euro bought 135.00 yen but faced major resistance at the October highs around 135.50, a level not seen since November 2009.

The euro was steady on the US dollar at $1.3490, having edged slowly higher for the past week or so as tapering talk weighed on the dollar. Measured against a basket of currencies the dollar was a shade lower at 80.815.