Asia stocks rise as Japan's SoftBank soars around 9% following Arm deal announcement


Key Points

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia Pacific rose on Monday, with investors watching shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group following an announcement of its sale of U.K. chip designer Arm.

South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.3% on the day to 2,427.91. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.65% to close at 23,559.30 while the Topix index added 0.88% to end its trading day at 1,651.10.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by their close, with the Shanghai composite up 0.57% to about 3,278.81 while the Shenzhen component also added 0.611% to around 13,021.99. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.77%, as of its final hour of trading.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged about 0.68% on the day to 5,899.50. Shares of Macquarie Group, however, dropped more than 4% after the firm announced Monday it anticipated a 35% plunge in its first-half earnings.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index gained 0.93%.

SoftBank shares pop

Shares of Japan's SoftBank Group soared 8.96% on Monday following an announcement that the firm is set to sell U.K. chip designer Arm to U.S. chip firm Nvidia.

Chipmaker Nvidia has agreed to buy Arm Holdings, a designer of chips for mobile phones, from SoftBank in a deal worth $40 billion, the companies announced Sunday. The deal will be for a mix of $21.5 billion in Nvidia stock and $12 billion in cash, including $2 billion payable at signing.

Shares of major chip firms regionally also saw a jump following the announcement. SK Hynix shares in South Korea rose 2.04% while Samsung Electronics advanced 2.37%. Over in Taiwan, shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company also added 1.03%.

"I don't know what this deal is gonna do overall for the (chip) sector, it's probably gonna strengthen sentiment a bit further," Bill Maldonado, chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific at HSBC Global Asset Management, told CNBC's "Street Signs Asia" on Monday.

Maldonado added that it's "getting harder and harder" to find firms with "decent valuations" in the sector, though he acknowledged it had "very strong" prospects and growth.

Successor to Japan's Abe announced

Meanwhile, developments in Japanese politics were also watched as the successor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was announced Monday afternoon.

Yoshihide Suga is set to become Japan's next prime minister after winning a ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership election on Monday, according to Reuters. The vote came after Abe announced his resignation in late August over health concerns.

Following that announcement, the Japanese yen traded at 106 against the greenback, following an earlier low of 106.19 per dollar.

"I think everything we've heard from Suga during this abbreviated campaign has said that he's gonna be pretty much business as usual as far as Abenomics is concerned," Tobias Harris, senior vice president at Teneo Intelligence, told CNBC on Monday prior to the announcement. "I don't think you're gonna see any major break from Abe in the near-term."

Oil prices higher

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.13% to $39.88 per barrel. U.S. crude futures added 0.38% to $37.47 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.194 after bouncing from levels around 92.7 last week.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7281 after rising from levels below $0.725 last week.