World Economy

Asia Stocks Rise

Asia Stocks RiseAsia Stocks Rise

Asian stock markets were cheered Friday by a record close on Wall Street and talk of further stimulus efforts from the European Central Bank, ABC News reported.

Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.4 percent at and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.6 percent to. Hong Kong’s Hang shed 0.7 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.5 percent. Markets also rose in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand. Benchmarks in Indonesia, South Korea and Philippines fell.

The European Central Bank is under pressure to provide more support for Europe’s recovery and prevent prices from falling. The ECB decided Thursday to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.05 percent, a record low. But after talk of doing more from ECB President Mario Draghi, markets turned higher. Germany’s DAX closed with a gain of 0.7 percent, while the CAC-40 in France gained 0.5 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 picked up 0.2 percent.

“European stocks were higher, and there is a welcoming mood for the cheap yen,” said Yosuke Shimizu, analyst at Argo Navis consultancy in Tokyo. The Nikkei had taken a rest Thursday from its surge after the Bank of Japan last week announced new stimulus, but was rebounding as the dollar gained ground on optimism about a continued US recovery, he said.

Earnings reports coming in lately from top Japanese companies have nearly all gained a healthy boost from the recent weakening of the yen, which has accelerated after the Bank of Japan announced additional monetary easing. A weak yen lifts the value of overseas revenue for giant exporters like Toyota Motor Corp.

Reports on the earnings of US companies helped push stock markets up to another record close on Wall Street. The S&P 500 edged up 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average also rose 0.4 percent. The Nasdaq composite gained 0.4 percent.

A report on US hiring from payrolls processor ADP suggested Friday’s official monthly employment figures will show employment growth. If that is the case, it will allay lingering worries that the Fed’s recent decision to withdraw its extraordinary stimulus, provided through a massive program of bond buying, was premature. Intended to spur economic recovery after the global recession, the stimulus helped markets defy gravity even in the face of poor company earnings or bad economic news.

The dollar rose to 115.28 yen from 115.28 yen late Thursday. The euro slipped to 41.2377 from $1.2381.

Benchmark US crude oil was down 22 cents to $77.69 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.