Asian shares rise on easing Europe worries

Asian shares rise on easing Europe worries

Tokyo: Most Asian stock markets rose in early trading on Thursday, fueled by a higher finish on Wall Street and a successful bond auction in Portugal that eased worries about Europe’s debt crisis.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average added 0.8% to 10,592.32. Automakers and high-tech companies climbed as a softer yen helped exporters.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.5% at 2,106.21, and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.3% to 4,786.80.

Benchmarks in Taiwan and New Zealand rose. In New York Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average finished at its highest level since 11 August, 2008. The index rose 83.56 points, or 0.7%, to close at 11,755.44.

Portugal borrowed $1.6 billion at a lower long-term interest rate than many expected. Investors have been concerned that Portugal will struggle with its debts and become the third European country to require a bailout after Greece and Ireland.

US financial stocks surged on hopes that banks would start raising their dividends.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index also reached its highest level since Aug. 28, 2008. The index gained 11.48, or 0.9%, to 1,285.96. The Nasdaq composite rose 20.50, or 0.8%, to 2,737.33.

In currencies, the dollar rose to ¥83.11 from ¥82.96 late Wednesday. The euro stood at $1.3124 from $1.3130.