Bangkok: Asian markets rise on the heels of a report showing a rebound in US manufacturing, reinforcing the view that the slowdown in the world’s No. 1 economy was only temporary.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was 1.1% higher at 9,971.59 — a two-month high — lifted by investor optimism about the US economy after manufacturing data for June by the Institute for Supply Management beat expectations.
However, the Nikkei failed to breach the psychologically important 10,000 mark, last reached on 5 May. Exporters were among the day’s major gainers. Honda Motor Corp. jumped 3.1%.
Toyota Motor Corp. was up 1.7%. Consumer electronics giant Panasonic Corp. moved 1.2% higher. Elsewhere South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.1% to 2,148.45. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.6% to 22,763.
Benchmarks in Australia, mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia were also higher. Companies that do well during times of economic expansion enjoyed broad gains.
Japan’s Komatsu Corp., a world leader in heavy equipment manufacturing, added 1.8%. Korean steel maker Posco rose 1.1%.
Meanwhile, recovering crude prices helped lift oil-related shares. Hong Kong-listed China National Offshore Oil Corp., known as CNOOC, rose 2.2%.
Benchmark crude for August delivery rose 20 cents to $95.14 on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday. The contract declined 48 cents to settle at $94.94 per barrel on the Nymex on Friday.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.4555 from $1.4511 in late trading in New York on Friday.
The dollar weakened to ¥80.76 from ¥80.84. Wall Street posted strong gains Friday, after the ISM report showed manufacturing across the US had expanded. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and a number of prominent economists have argued that the economy will pick up again once the effects of Japan’s earthquake-tsunami disaster in March and a spike in oil prices waned.
The Dow rose 1.4% to 12,582.77. The Standard and Poor’s 500 index gained 1.4% to 1,339.67.
The Nasdaq composite added 1.5% to 2,816.03. Many economists and analysts began lowering their estimates for US growth in May after a string of negative reports on manufacturing, consumer spending and hiring by private companies.
A shortage of computer chips and auto parts from Japan, higher gas prices and severe weather all contributed to what appeared to be a slowdown in the economic recovery.