Asia Darts on China Inflation Data

Most major Asian indexes closed higher on Monday, following the stronger lead from Wall Street, as investors digested the release of China inflation data.

The Nikkei 225 index gained ground for a 10th-straight day, leaping 100.38 points, or 0.5%, to 21,255.56. Ahead, politics will be in focus for Japanese markets as the country gears up for lower house election at the end of the week.

The Hang Seng Index jumped 216.37 points, or 0.8%, to 28,692.80

In Korea, steelmakers and cosmetics retailers notched gains: Posco jumped 5.9%, Hyundai Steel closed up 2.4% and Amorepacific soared 5.2%. Tech stocks were mixed, with SK Hynix falling 2.2%, but LG Electronics climbing 0.9%.

Australian markets gained with the materials sub-index rising 1.6% and leading gains on the broader index. Major miners surged: Rio Tinto closed up 3.4%, Fortescue Metals climbed 1% and BHP jumped 2.2%.

Against the Japanese currency, the U.S. dollar was slightly lower at 111.75 yen.

In individual stocks, SoftBank Group was up 1.4%. The spike in share price came after news that T-Mobile and SoftBank-controlled Sprint intended to announce a merger, according to Reuters. That followed a report from Nikkei Asian Review during the weekend that SoftBank had "reached a broad agreement" about the deal.

Also in Japan, shares of Kobe Steel closed 2.7% higher after trading near their lowest level in five years earlier in the session. The steelmaker is currently embroiled in a data falsification scandal. On Friday, the company's chief executive acknowledged that around 500 firms had received affected products.

Over in South Korea, shares in Samsung Electronics were flat after the company announced Friday that it was expecting record profit for the third quarter. Other tech stocks in the market were mixed: LG Electronics rose 0.9%, LG Display added 2.2% and Samsung SDI fell 6.7%.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 retreated 7.55 points, or 0.2%, to 3,913.45

China is likely to be in the spotlight this week as the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party China kicks off on Oct. 18.
Investors in the region also digested inflation data out of the world's second-largest economy: China's consumer price index rose 1.6% in September from a year ago, meeting expectations. The producer price index rose 6.9% in the same period — well above the 6.3% forecast

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index gained 6.43 points, or 0.3%, to 2,480.05

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index added 50.12 points, or 0.5%, to 10,774.21

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 3.95 points, or 0.1%, to 3,323.06

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 eked ahead 1.42 points to 8,090.73

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved forward 32.61 points, or 0.6%, to 5,846.76