Asian stocks up in thin trading

<p>The year starts on a positive note for Asian markets.</p>

Asian stocks rose today (December 2nd) in thin trading, boosted by Chinese shares in Hong Kong on hopes the government will take new measures to boost growth. Markets in China, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand are closed for holidays. 

"Volumes are abysmal and we're not taking much notice of today's price action," Michael McCarthy, Sydney-based chief market strategist at CMC Markets, told Bloomberg. "Valuations are not cheap but are not stretched. We are expecting a volatile ride to play out this year."

The release of weak Chinese manufacturing data fuelled speculation that policy makers will do more to support growth. The government’s Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 50.1 in December from 50.3 in November.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7 per cent to 23,772, South Korea's Kospi was up 0.6 per cent to 1,927, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 per cent to 5,436.

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