Asian Stocks Close Mostly Higher

The stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly higher on Monday, with the exception of China, as Wall Street's gains on Friday boosted investor confidence. However, fears of recession still loomed large, as South Korea unveiled a stimulus package to cushion the blow from the financial crisis. The Chinese stock market fell to a new two-year low on the back of gloomy manufacturing data, extending October's losses. The Japanese market remained closed on account of a public holiday.

The Australian stock market rallied 5%, led by banks and miners, as expectations for an interest rate cut by 50 basis points on Tuesday increased. Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 2.7% higher at 14,344.37; Taiwan's Taiex closed up 2.6% at 4,995; Singapore's STI closed 5.0% at 1,883; Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index closed up 7.6% at 1,352; Malaysia's KLCI closed up 35.7 points at 899; and India's Sensex closed up 5.6% at 10,337.