Asian stocks rise as dealers look to Wall Street

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GMT - 3 Hours Asian stocks rise as dealers look to Wall Street

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:15 pm

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HONG KONG: Asian shares rose on Friday as traders took a strong cue from Wall Street while sentiment was also buoyed by progress in containing a crippled nuclear plant in Japan.

Traders in Tokyo lifted the Nikkei index as some of the country's big manufacturers restarted production after the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Tokyo was one percent higher by the break, Hong Kong gained 0.78 percent and Sydney rose 1.20 percent while Shanghai added 0.65 percent and Seoul gained 0.61 percent. Taipei was up 0.34 percent.

Regional shares have also been supported by bargain hunting after a sell-off last week caused by the Japanese crisis.

Dealers are growing more confident that the battle to avoid a meltdown at the Fukushima No.1 plant in Japan is being won with crews having linked up an external electricity supply to all six reactors and preparing to restart cooling systems.

The emergency crews' progress at the atomic plant allowed investors to turn their focus to the United States, where a strong batch of jobs data helped the Dow post a 0.70 percent gain.

The Labor Department said new jobless claims fell to 382,000 in the week ending March 19, down from 387,000 the week before, sustaining a downward trend that began in August and raising hopes for the US recovery.

The good figures added to news in Japan that firms had started to resume output.

Toyota rose 1.1 percent after it said Thursday it will begin production of three hybrid models in Japan on Monday, while Nissan added 2.1 percent after it began making some parts earlier this week and restarted assembly of some vehicles on Thursday.

However trade remained cautious in Japan as the country reels from the quake-tsunami disaster as well as the resulting nuclear crisis, which has also led to a food and water contamination scare.

The euro was buoyed by expectations the European Union will step in to bail out Portugal after the country's parliament on Wednesday refused an austerity package aimed at digging the embattled economy out of the mire.

The euro bought $1.4179 in morning Asian trade from $1.4176 in New York late Thursday, having fallen to $1.4087 after the Portuguese decision.

The single currency also changed hands at 114.81 yen from 114.12.

The greenback was slightly lower against the Japanese yen, trading at 80.97 as compared with 81.01 on Thursday.

On oil markets crude was mixed, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May losing 21 cents to $105.39 per barrel and Brent North Sea crude for May rising 19 cents to $115.91.

Gold opened at $1,432.50-$1,433.50 an ounce in Hong Kong, down from Wednesday's close of $1,437.50-$1,438.50. (AFP)
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