Asian stock markets rose early Monday after China ended its two-year peg to the dollar over the weekend, though there was no immediate change in the yuan's exchange rate.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index gained 146.33 points, or 1.5 percent, to 10,141.35.
South Korea's Kospi rose 1.5 percent to 1,737.12, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.4 percent at 4,616.20.
China's main share benchmark, the Shanghai Composite Index, added 0.8 percent to 2,534.08, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 2.1 percent to 20,702.33.
The Hang Seng was led by heavyweights such as China Life Insurance, which advanced 2.7 percent and Bank of China, up 2.3 percent.
|In this Nov. 17, 2009, file photo, a bank clerk stacks up renminbi banknotes at a bank in Hefei in central China's Anhui province|
The official exchange rate for China's currency stood unchanged Monday morning in line with the central bank's warning the value of the yuan would not dramatically rise after its two-year peg to the dollar ended.
The People's Bank of China left the yuan's parity rate against the U.S. dollar unchanged Monday at 6.8275, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The rate is a weighted average of prices given by market makers, excluding highest and lowest offers.
"The Chinese side announcing the possibility of greater flexibility for the renminbi, which raises hopes for reminbi appreciation and gives more impetus to Hong Kong stocks," said Ben Kwong Man Bun, chief operating officer at KGI Securities in Hong Kong, using the other Chinese term for its currency.
The impact of any change in the yuan's value will be mixed, he noted, with exporters likely to suffer and importers and airlines, whose debts are denominated in U.S. dollars, gaining.
The yuan's value has been pegged to the U.S. dollar for two years, causing friction with countries who say it is undervalued for China's own benefit. A stronger yuan would make Chinese exports more expensive and bring relief to foreign manufacturers that have struggled to compete.
Beijing has long refused to allow the yuan to float and denied accusations it is unfairly undervalued.
The central bank said it would rely more on a basket of currencies that includes the U.S. dollar to determine the exchange rate, rather than the dollar alone.
In currencies, the dollar rose to 90.47 yen in Tokyo on Monday morning from 90.36 yen in New York late Friday. The euro stood at $1.2432, little changed from $1.2435.