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Asian, European Stocks Rise

Asian, European Stocks RiseAsian, European Stocks Rise

Asian stocks rose Monday after strong US jobs data reassured investors the world’s largest economy still is growing and boosted American stocks.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 surged 2.4% to 16,650.57 points and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.2% to 22,415.51. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7% to 2,996.78 and Seoul’s Kospi added 0.9% to 2,017.94, Reuters reported.

Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.4% to 5,497.40 and India’s Sensex rose 0.3% to 28,172.62. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Thailand also gained.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7% and hit its highest level since August 11 last year. It is up 12% in six weeks.

China’s exports fell again in July compared with a year earlier while a decline in imports accelerated. Exports contracted 4.4% to $184.7 billion, a slight improvement over June’s 4.8% contraction. Imports fell 12.5% to $132.4 billion, accelerating from a decline of 8.4%.

Weak global demand has hampered efforts to shore up Chinese trade and stave off job losses in export industries. Investors also were looking ahead to Chinese inflation and retail sales data due out this week for signals on which direction the world’s second-largest economy is headed.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street, US stocks jumped to record highs after the Labor Department said US employers added 255,000 jobs in July. Financial and technology stocks soared and investors sold the safe assets they have favored for most of this year. Consumer companies also made big gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 191.48 points, or 1%, to 18,543.53. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 18.62 points, or 0.9%, to 2,182.87. The Nasdaq advanced 54.87 points, or 1.1%, to a record close of 5,221.12.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.2%, with banks adding the most points to European stock markets.

The STOXX Europe 600 Bank index advanced 1%, helped by a 2.8% rise at Barclays after Exane BNP Paribas upgraded Barclays to “outperform” from “neutral.

PostNL shares rose 8.8%, the top performer on the STOXX 600 index, after its second-quarter results were well-received by investors, with the company confirming its full-year outlook.

Benchmark US crude gained 15 cents to $41.95 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract shed 13 cents on Friday to close at $41.80. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 16 cents to $44.43 per barrel in London. It lost 2 cents on Friday to close at $44.27.

The dollar rose to 102.06 yen from Friday’s 101.82 yen. The euro edged up to $1.119 from $1.108.

Financialtribune.com