Asia stocks rise on opening as upbeat earnings, data, boost risk appetite

A pedestrian uses his mobile phone as he walks past an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries outside a brokerage in Tokyo on Oct 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
A pedestrian uses his mobile phone as he walks past an electronic board showing the stock market indices of various countries outside a brokerage in Tokyo on Oct 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian equities rose on Monday, taking heart from upbeat earnings and economic data that eased recent global growth fears and sharpened risk appetite, while the dollar advanced to a three-week high against the yen.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.35 per cent and Tokyo's Nikkei rose 0.5 per cent.

"Stable housing starts in the U.S. and solid Q3 GDP in the U.K. are likely to give the market some comfort after the recent concerns about global growth," strategists at Barclays wrote in a note to clients.

Data on Friday showed new U.S. home sales rose to a six-year high and Britain's economy expanded 0.7 per cent in the third quarter, still on track to outpace other advanced economies U.S. stocks, recovering from a battering earlier in the month on worries about global growth losing momentum, gained Friday on upbeat earnings from blue chips Microsoft and Procter & Gamble. Easing worries over the possible spread of Ebola in the United States also helped.

In currencies, the US dollar traded at 108.18 yen after touching a three-week peak of 108.38, with a rise in U.S. Treasury yields and improving risk appetite buoying the greenback.

The euro edged up 0.1 per cent to $1.2628, trading in a narrow range after showing a limited reaction to Sunday's health check results of euro zone banks, which painted a slightly brighter picture than expected.

Roughly one in five of the euro zone's top lenders failed the health checks at the end of last year but most have since repaired their finances, the European Central Bank said on Sunday.