Shares in Asia in positive territory on Tuesday

smiling HK trader Image copyright LAURENT FIEVET

Shares in Asia ended higher on Tuesday following a rally Europe and a 7% rise for Tokyo on Monday.

After initially falling 1% in early trade, the Nikkei 225 closed up 0.2% at 16,054.43 points.

Analysts said the early morning falls were due to investors taking profits after the steep rises a day earlier.

Shares in Japanese telecoms giant Softbank Group rose nearly 16% after it announced a new share buyback.

The firm announced its biggest share buyback to date late on Monday in an attempt to shore up investor sentiment following a sharp fall in its latest quarterly profits.

Rising China

Image copyright ChinaFotoPress
Image caption The onshore yuan saw its biggest daily rise since 2005 on Monday

In China, markets rose despite disappointing official trade numbers released on Monday.

The Shanghai Composite closed at a three-week high, up 3.3% to 2,836 points, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished 1.1% higher at to 19,122 points.

Monday's comments from the head of China's central bank, Zhou Xiaochuan, aimed at easing concerns about falls in the country's currency reserves, helped the onshore yuan in its biggest daily rise since 2005 when the country dropped an official peg to the dollar.

The onshore yuan is traded only in China. The offshore yuan is free of Beijing's control.

Analysts said that investor sentiment had been boosted by Mr Zhou's comments, the yuan's rally and some hints from the government that new stimulus measures may be near.

"Trade balance was weak, and the export figures illustrate demand isn't there on a global basis," said Evan Lucas from IG Markets.

"However, the Zhou effect cannot be ignored and the CNY [onshore yuan] fix coupled with his comments should settle the fear factor around an August 2015-styled devaluation."

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi index closed up 1.4% to 1,888 points in line with regional sentiment. The country's central bank left interest rates unchanged at a record low of 1.5%.

After falling earlier, Australia's ASX 200 index closed higher, up 1.4% to 4,910 points.

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