China Stocks Lead Asia Higher

Chinese shares led gains in Asia on Monday, touching a more than five-year high on rising stimulus bets, but growing expectations for a sooner-than-expected rate hike in the U.S. and lower oil prices capped advances elsewhere in the region.

U.S. stocks finished last week on the back foot as a week of mixed economic data, renewed U.S. dollar strength and sharply lower oil prices made traders cautious ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.8 percent, while the S&P 500 finished 0.6 percent lower. The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.4 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index scaled a fresh 15-year high of 19,349, but pulled back at the end of the morning session as industrial robot maker Fanuc pared gains. The index heavyweight, which was a key contributor of the benchmark index’s surge above the 19,000 mark last week, traded near the flatline at midday.


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