MUMBAI (NewsRise) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan advanced following a record-setting session on Wall Street amid optimism over U.S. corporate tax cuts as voting on the long-awaited overhaul draws near.
The Nikkei Asia300 Index added 0.5% to 1,384.80 after rising 0.7% last week. Technology heavyweights Samsung Electronics and Tencent Holdings advanced at least 1.2% each, while China Construction Bank (CCB) and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) also climbed more than 1%. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing jumped 4.2%, the most in almost a month, after the bourse operator unveiled a proposal on Friday to allow companies to list shares with different classes of voting rights.
All three major U.S. equity benchmarks closed at record highs on Friday after Republican Senators Bob Corker and Marco Rubio said they would support the U.S. tax bill after initially criticizing the overhaul. Voting for the legislation is expected to take place in the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
"Asian markets are off to a positive start to a busy week following improved conviction for the passage of the U.S. tax reform bill into the end of last week," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at Melbourne-based broker IG.
South Korean messaging app service provider Kakao Corp. tumbled 5.6% in Seoul after saying on Friday that it plans to raise up to $1 billion through global depository receipts. Still, the country gauge for South Korea added 0.3%.
Yulon Motor fell 1.3% in Taipei after saying late Friday that its unit sold 6 million shares of Fubon Financial Holding for 301.6 million Taiwanese dollars ($10.1 million). The country gauge for Taiwan slipped 0.3% on Monday.
Mobile operator StarHub fell 2.4%. On Friday after markets closed, the company announced its plans to buy cryptographic technology company D'Crypt for up to 122 million Singapore dollars ($90.5 million).
Lenders led gains for Indian equities as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to be winning elections in his home state of Gujarat and the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The nation's benchmark equity gauge, the Sensex, had slumped as much as 2.5% in early trade as early counting trends had indicated a close race between the BJP and its main opposition, the Congress party. The two largest lenders in the nation - State Bank of India and ICICI Bank - added at least 1.8% each.
In country indexes compiled by Nikkei, India jumped 1%. China rose 0.7%, while Hong Kong climbed 1%.
The Nikkei Asia300 ASEAN Index of Southeast Asian companies added 0.2%.