(AP) Asian stocks advanced Monday, led by optimistic news in the region's two biggest economies. Japanese shares rallied thanks to Tokyo's Olympic bid victory, which helped lift sentiment, while Chinese stocks surged following positive economic data that added to a picture of gradual recovery in the world's No. 2 economy.
The Nikkei 225 jumped nearly 2.5 percent to 14,205.93, and the yen fell after Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and a revised estimate showed the economy grew faster than previously reported in the second quarter. The Olympics are expected to provide a welcome boost, much of it in the construction sector, where the government is already spending heavily as part of its stimulus program.
"For an economy that is desperate to snap out of 20 years of deflation this is a huge shot in the arm," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne, who estimated the price tag would fall somewhere between the $13.9 billion spent for the London 2012 games and the $43 billion on the 2008 Beijing games.
"Business confidence will improve as industries see the effects of increased government and private spending over the next seven years, plus never discount 'national pride' and the effect it will have on consumer spending and household spending," Lucas said in a market commentary.
Chinese stocks rose after data showed that the country's exports accelerated while inflation edged lower last month, raising hopes that the world's second largest economy will gradually recover from a painful downturn. It's the latest sign that China is stabilizing after growth fell to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the second quarter. Shanghai's benchmark index advanced 3 percent to 2,204.75 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 22,787.29.
Shares of China's biggest oil producer, PetroChina, were suspended in Hong Kong as the company said news reports that five executives are being questioned amid a widening corruption investigation are not true. The company said it applied to have the shares resume trading in the afternoon.
Australian stocks gained after a weekend election victory that resulted in the country's first conservative government in six years, though the advance was modest because the victory was widely expected, with Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rising 0.6 percent to 5,177.10. Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has pledged to repeal a 30 percent tax on coal and iron ore miners' profits, which could help mining and resources companies. Shares of mining giant BHP Billiton rose 1.1 percent in Sydney, while Rio Tinto rose 1 percent.
Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.6 percent to 1,966.38. Benchmarks in Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand and Indonesia also rose.
U.S. stocks ended fairly flat on Friday, after a set of jobs figures left investors uncertain over whether the Federal Reserve would start to scale back its monetary stimulus later this month. The Dow closed 0.1 percent lower at 14,922.50 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose marginally to 1,655.17. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.03 percent to 3,660.01.
Benchmark crude for October delivery was down 30 cents to $110.23 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.16, or 2 percent, to close at $110.53 on Friday.
In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3168 from $1.3173 late Friday, while the dollar rose to 99.67 yen from 99.10 yen.