Asian markets end at session highs on 13 August
Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) employees working at the bourse.

A rally in Japanese equities boosted Asian markets, which led to some session highs on Tuesday, after reports surfaced that the government is considering a reduction in corporation tax rates.

The Japanese Nikkei finished 2.57% higher or 347.57 points to 13,867.00.

The Shanghai Composite index was trading 0.06% higher or 1.24 points to 2,102.52.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading 1.12% higher or 249.81 points to 22,521.09.

Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.96% higher or 49 points to 5,157.90.

South Korea's Kospi finished 1.50% higher or 28.20 points to 1,913.03 points.

Japanese equities rose, as the yen weakened, following a Nikkei newspaper report that the government is considering a reduction in corporattion tax rates.

Japanese stocks were also boosted by better-than-expected machinery orders data. June machinery orders fell 2.7% from May, but that was still better than forecasts for a 7.2% decline.

"Investors are digesting the deluge of July activity data late last week, the main highlight of which was acceleration in exports, industrial production and M2 [money supply growth]. These are hopeful signs of economic recovery in the second half of the year," said ING Financial Markets economist Prakash Sakpal.

Wall Street Flat

On Wall Street, indices ended lower on Monday as market participants found little reason to buy on the lack of earnings data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished 5.83 points lower at 15,419.68, while the S&P 500 index ended 1.95 points lower at 1,689.47. The Nasdaq closed 9.84 points higher at 3,669.95.

Company Stock Movements

In Tokyo, Taiko Pharmaceutical rallied 10% after it reported that its quarterly net profit tripled. Dairy company Meiji Holdings gained 3% after it reported a 243% surge in net profit.

Telecoms firm Softbank jumped 4.3%. Consumer electronics major Sharp and rival Panasonic added 4% each.

Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries shot up 3.4% while Japan Tobacco, Asia's largest listed tobacco company, gained 2.7%.

Mizuho Financial Group added 1.5% while semiconductor company Tokyo Electron moved up 1.3%.

In Shanghai, property developers gained after Reuters reported that the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou has relaxed restrictions on property purchases, allowing some people to buy second homes there. Wenzhou is the first city in China to do so.

China Resources Land added 3.1%, while China Overseas Land and Investment moved up 1%. Rivals Poly Real Estate and Gemdale added 0.7% each on the news.

Mid-sized lender China Minsheng Banking moved up 1%.

In Sydney, property developer Stockland fell 2.5% after it reported a 79% drop in full-year profit, owing to a weak housing market.

Mining stocks pared early gains after the Treasury warned that mining investment could fall sharper than expected. Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals added 1% following a 4% surge earlier, while rival Atlas Iron gained 3.5%

Alacer Gold, the third-largest gold company traded in Australia, gained over 6%. The US-based company announced a leadership change in Australia as it seeks to sell its Australian mines.

In Seoul, Korea Zinc shot up 4%. Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics and computer-memory chips maker SK Hynix added 4% each. LCD panel maker LG Display gained 2%. Steelmaker POSCO and rival Dongkuk Steel gained over 1%.