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Asia stocks up after upbeat economic data, US rise

Asia stocks up after upbeat economic data, US rise
AP
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First Published: Wed, Mar 24 2010. 03 11 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 24 2010. 03 11 PM IST
Hong Kong: Asian stocks were up modestly Wednesday as encouraging economic reports and gains in US markets buoyed investor confidence. European markets opened higher.
The euro, meanwhile, continued its slide against the dollar amid uncertainty over a resolution to Greece’s debt crisis. Oil prices fell before $81 a barrel.
Economic news from Asia helped sentiment.
Driven by rising world demand for cars and gadgets, exports from Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, surged 45% last month from a year earlier. And Taiwan reported a steep rise in industrial production. Together, the reports added to signs of recovery in global trade.
As markets opened in Europe, benchmarks in Britain, France and Germany rose betwen 0.1% and 0.3%.
Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average rose 40.88 points, or 0.4%, to 10,815.03.
Hong Kong’s main index added 40.88, or 0.4%, to 21,008.62 and Shanghai’s market climbed 0.1% to 3,056.81.
Markets in Australia and Taiwan also advanced moderately, while South Korea’s Kospi was off 0.1%. India’s market was closed for a public holiday.
Oil prices drifted lower, with benchmark crude for May delivery down 67 cents at $81.24.
In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3382 from $1.3495, or nearly 0.9%. The dollar strengthened to 91.03 yen from 90.42 yen.
Among stocks, Nintendo Co. helped lead the broader market higher. Its shares jumping 10% after the company, which makes the popular Wii, said Tuesday it plans to release a 3-D version of its popular handheld gaming system, the Nintendo DS, by March 2011.
In Australia, mining shares were among the country’s top gainers. BHP Billiton Ltd. rose%, while rival Rio Tinto jumped almost 2%.
Wall Street had a strong showing overnight.
Hopes for a big US stock rally sent the Dow up 102.94, or 1%, to 10,888.83. The index hit a new high for 2010 and is at its highest level since 26 September, 2008.
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First Published: Wed, Mar 24 2010. 03 11 PM IST
More Topics: Markets | Asia | Nikkei | Hang Seng | Oil |