Asian shares up despite weak economic data

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Asian shares were higher despite news of a deeper-than-expected recession in Japan and China's trade data coming in below expectations.

Revised economic data on Monday showed that Japan's recession was deeper than originally estimated.

China's exports and imports in November both failed to meet market forecasts, highlighting a slowing economy.

Despite the disappointing figures, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 closed up 0.1% at 17,935.64 points.

That marked its highest finish since July 2007.

The dollar was steady at 121.51 yen after touching a new seven-year high of 121.86.

China stocks rally

In China, shares headed higher as investors hoped that the weak trade data would lead the government to approve extra stimulus measures.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended up 45.03 points at 24,047.67, while the Shanghai Composite rose 82.61 points, or 2.8%, to 3,020.26.

Australian shares closed at one-week high with the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% at 5,372.7.

Shares of national carrier Qantas jumped nearly 14% after the airline said it expected to report its best first-half profit since 2010, thanks to a faster-than-anticipated turnaround from 2013's record loss.

It predicts underlying first-half profit will be between A$300m ($249m; £160m) and A$350m.

In South Korea, shares extended losses following the trade data from China, which is its key export market.

The benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.4% at 1,978.95.