By Swati Pandey
SYDNEY, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Chinese stocks drove Asian markets higher on Monday, though sentiment was still cautious ahead of a U.S. Presidential debate and as a spike in new coronavirus cases undermined global economic recovery hopes.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS advanced 0.5% to 550.47, but still within striking distance of a two-month low of 543.66 hit last week.
The index is set to end the month deep in the red after three straight monthly gains as the pandemic continues to wreak economic havoc around the world and raises investor anxiety about sky-high valuations.
Chinese shares opened higher and helped to underpin Asian markets after a tentative start, with the blue-chip CSI 300 index .CSI300 up 0.85%. Shanghai’s SSE .SSEC climbed 0.5%.
Encouragingly, data over the weekend showed profits at China’s industrial firms grew for the fourth straight month in August