Asian stocks gain on stronger Chinese factory data

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Currency traders work at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. Asian stocks rose Tuesday after Chinese manufacturing improved, with investors looking ahead to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powells appearance before legislators. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

TOKYO – Asian stocks rose Tuesday after Chinese manufacturing improved, with investors looking ahead to U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s appearance before legislators.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index closed down 0.5% overnight but ended November up 10.8% for its biggest monthly gain since April.

Investors are increasingly optimistic about the expected development of a coronavirus vaccine despite caution about the short-term economic impact of rising virus cases in the United States and Europe.

The future “seems incredibly bright and bullish,” Stephen Innes of Axi said in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.2% to 3,433.77 while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced 1.5% to 28.824.46. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.8% to 26,569.69.

The Kospi in Seoul advanced 1.3% to 2,625.22 and the S&P-ASX 200 in Sydney was 1.4% higher at 6,608.70. New Zealand declined while Southeast Asian markets rose.

An index of Chinese manufacturing released by a business magazine, Caixin, hit a decade high in November as the country’s recovery from the pandemic gained strength. A separate survey Monday by the government statistics agency showed activity at a three-year high.