Bangkok: Asian markets rose on Thursday after stocks in Europe and the US closed higher on a surge in demand for cars and planes in July that offered an unexpectedly upbeat sign of life in the US economy.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1.7% in early trading to 8,788.99. Export shares were buoyed by a weakening yen, which lowers the cost of Japanese goods sold overseas.
Nissan Motor Corp. jumped 5.1% and Panasonic Corp. rose 2.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1.2% higher to 19,711.83 in early trading.
South Korea’s Kospi index jumped 1.5% to 1,781.45, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.9% at 4,206.70.
Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, and mainland China were also higher. Analysts said news that Steve Jobs had resigned as Apple Inc. chief executive on Wednesday was unlikely to impact markets outside the United States, which is the only country where Apple shares are traded.
“Clearly for Apple it’s a very important event, and it’s very likely to have an impact on Apple’s share price, but from a broader market perspective, it’s not material,” Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at Sydney-based stockbroker CMC Markets, told The Associated Press.
Shares of Apple competitor Lenovo Group -- a world leader in personal computer manufacturing -- were 1.6% higher, but that was in line with gains elsewhere. Lenovo entered wireless Internet last year and has launched smartphones and Web-linked tablet computers in competition with Apple, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Corp. and Taiwan’s HTC Corp.
In currencies, the dollar gained against other major currencies Wednesday after a federal durable goods report was more positive than expected. The US Commerce Department said orders for durable goods rose 4% in July, much better than the 2.4% increase economists had expected.
The rise in orders was due to higher demand for autos and aircraft. The euro dipped to $1.4402 from $1.4421 in late trading Wednesday in New York. The dollar rose to ¥76.86 from ¥77.01. But Japanese exporters viewed that as an improvement, as the dollar hovered below ¥76 last week -- a post-World War II high for the Japanese currency.