Bangkok: Asian stock markets rose Monday, after Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke’s prediction of long-term US economic growth fueled a Wall Street rebound.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.5% to 8,845.19. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 gained 1.5% to 4,264.20 and New Zealand’s NZX 50 rose 0.6% to 3,313.85. South Korea’s Kopsi index jumped 2.7% to 1,826.35.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. soared 8.4%. Hynix Semiconductor Inc. jumped 5.9%. Gold-related shares rose after prices of the precious metal rebounded Friday after a volatile week. Newcrest Mining Ltd., Australia’s largest gold miner, rose 1%.
Other Australian metals shares rose on the back of higher commodities prices. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, rose 1.5%. Rio Tinto Ltd. gained 1.7%. On Friday in New York, gold for December delivery rose $34.10 to finish at $1,797.30 an ounce after nearly hitting $1,900 an ounce as Monday’s trading ended.
The euro was slightly down at $1.4482 from $1.4484 in late trading in New York. The dollar fell to ¥76.73 from ¥76.66. Market optimism was fueled Friday by a highly anticipated speech by Fed chief Bernanke at a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
While he announced no new economic stimulus measures, as some investors had hoped, he did leave open the possibility of more action if another recession looks likely -- and he also emphasized the strengths of the US economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.2% to close at 11,284.54. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.5% to 1,176.80. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 2.5% to 2,479.85. The Fed has said it plans to keep short-term interest rates low until mid-2013. Low rates on investments like bonds make higher-risk bets such as stocks more attractive.