HONG KONG, July 30: Asian markets mostly rose for a second straight session on Monday on hopes for new rounds of central bank stimulus in Europe and the United States to kickstart their troubled economies.

The gains followed positive leads from Wall Street and Europe on Friday, while comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Thursday on saving the euro were reinforced by Germany, France and Italy over the weekend.

Tokyo closed up 0.80 per cent, or 68.80 points, at 8,635.44, Sydney gained 0.85 per cent, or 35.9 points, to 4,245.7 and Seoul also climbed 0.80 per cent, adding 14.63 points to 1,843.79.

Hong Kong rose 1.61 per cent, or 310.44 points, to 19,585.40 but Shanghai was down 0.89 per cent, or 18.85 points, at 2,109.91.

Data showing US gross domestic product expanded at a weaker pace in the three months to June underlined the frail state of the world's number one economy but lifted sentiment as dealers now expect a fresh cash injection from the Federal Reserve.

Washington said the economy grew 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year, after 2.0 per cent in the first three months, sending US shares skyward.

Global shares were sent soaring on Friday after Draghi said the “ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me it will be enough”.

That message was reinforced later Friday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande who vowed in a joint statement to do “everything to protect the eurozone” after telephone talks.

Merkel re-iterated the pledge in a joint statement with Italian prime minister Mario Monti on Sunday.

In other markets: Taipei rose 0.48 per cent, or 34.39 points, to 7,158.88.

Manila closed 1.12 per cent higher, gaining 58.35 points to 5,277.90.

Metropolitan Bank and Trust added 1.95 per cent to 96.80 pesos while Philippine Long Distance Telephone rose 0.22 per cent to 2,704 pesos.

Wellington added 0.50 per cent, or 17.60 points, to 3,518.89.

Fletcher Building was up 1.01 per cent at NZ$6.02, Telecom rose 2.55 per cent to NZ$2.61 and The Warehouse was steady at NZ$2.58.

Jakarta was up 0.37 per cent, or 14.91 points, to 4,099.12.

Car maker Astra rose 0.75 per cent to 6,700 rupiah while Indocement gained 3.3 per cent to 20,150 rupiah.

Kuala Lumpur closed up 0.46 per cent, or 7.41 points, at 1,632.35.

Plantation group Sime Darby gained 0.10 per cent to 9.83 ringgit, while Telekom Malaysia added 1.06 per cent to 5.72 ringgit.

Singapore closed up 1.14 per cent, or 34.31 points, at 3,032.80.

DBS Bank was up 0.61 per cent to Sg$14.74 and Singapore Telecom was 2.01 per cent higher at Sg$3.55.

Mumbai rose 1.81 per cent, or 304.49 points, to 17,143.68.

State Bank of India was up 4.63 per cent at 2,031.05 rupees while Tata Motors rose 4.16 per cent to 221.65.—AFP

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