Asia stocks rose Monday as subdued Chinese inflation, a rebound by Japanese markets and the latest easing of tensions over Ukraine helped offset unease about Iraq.
KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 2.2 percent to 15,107.45, rebounding from last week's 5 percent tumble. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 percent to 2,215.35 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.1 percent to 24,599.51. Seoul added 0.7 percent to 2,044.97 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 percent to 5,467.70.
CHINESE INFLATION: China's consumer in July stayed at 2.3 percent, well below the official target for the year of 3.5 percent. That gives the central bank room to ease access to credit if needed to shore up economic growth, which was 7.5 percent in the latest quarter. That would lower the cost of financing for stock trading, helping to support markets. report.
JAPAN'S REBOUND: Japanese stocks rose as investors hunted bargains following the Nikkei's 5 percent slide last week.
GEOPOLITICS: After taking a jab at the West with last week's ban on food imports, Russia called an end to military exercises near Ukraine and withdrew troops to their bases. Fighting raged in the city of Donetsk as government forces closed in on the rebel stronghold and insurgents backed away from a cease-fire offer. In Iraq, U.S. warplanes attacked Islamic State militants near the northern city of Irbil, capital of the Kurdish region. The attacks are aimed at limiting the militants' advances and keeping them away from oil fields.
THE QUOTE: "Overall, we saw a return of risk appetite with flows returning to equities while safe havens like the yen, gold and treasuries slid," said Desmond Chua of CMC Markets in a report.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil for September delivery rose 39 cents to $98.04 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, boosted by unease about possible disruptions to supplies from Iraq and Russia. The contract rose 31 cents to settle at $97.65 in the previous session.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 102.15 yen from the previous session's 102.05 yen. The euro declined to $1.3402 from $1.3411.