Asia markets rise as deals boost confidence

Asia markets rise as deals boost confidence

Bangkok: Asian markets rose Tuesday, snapping a string of losses, as a weaker yen boosted Japanese shares and a flurry of corporate deals in Europe and the US suggested companies have greater confidence in the economic recovery.

The deal announcements regarded as a sign companies are becoming more willing to part with cash to expand helped lift the Dow Jones industrials into positive territory for the month, giving it a 0.7% gain.

Japan led Asia’s advance as weakness in the yen lifted exporter stocks like Toyota Motor Corp. Oil hung below $74 a barrel amid expectations Opec will leave production levels unchanged at today’s meeting.

Asian stocks have rallied massively from their March lows but gains have dimmed since November amid worries that markets have gotten ahead of the patchy recovery in the global recovery.

Economic news lately has shown that Asia is rebounding quickly from the recession, helped by lavish government stimulus spending, but the US one of the biggest markets for the region’s exports remains sluggish.

Among the corporate transactions that boosted European and US shares Monday was French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis SA’s $1.9 billion deal to buy US health care products company Chattem Inc. Meanwhile, mining equipment maker Bucyrus International Inc. said it planned to buy Terex Corp.’s mining equipment division for $1.3 billion and Dutch automaker Spyker Cars submitted a new offer to buy Saab from General Motors Co.

In Tokyo trade, the Nikkei 225 stock average was up 132.17 points, or 1.3%, at 10,315.64 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 243.38, or 1.2%, to 21,191.48. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.5% to 1,652.36.

Elsewhere, Singapore’s market jumped 1.3%, Australia’s index was up 1.1% and Taiwan shares rose 0.9%. China’s Shanghai index marched to a different drummer, falling 0.6% to 3,104.45.

Monday in the U.S., the Dow rose 85.25, or 0.8%, to 10,414.14, after rising as much as 129 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.58, or 1.1%, to 1,114.05, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 25.97, or 1.2%, at 2,237.66.