Asian stocks rise on China export recovery

admin Contributor
Font Size:

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Monday as news of a surprisingly strong rebound in China’s exports last month offset a dismal U.S. jobs report.

Hong Kong and Shanghai markets led the region after the government announced exports jumped nearly 18 percent in December after 13 months of declines, buoying confidence in Asia’s prospects as Western economies struggle.

Expectations of greater Chinese demand helped lift commodities. Oil prices neared $84 a barrel while gold topped $1,150 an ounce.

The dollar, meanwhile, weakened against the yen and the euro as investors bet the U.S. government would stick to its looser monetary policies after a bleak employment report showed Friday the world’s largest economy shed 85,000 jobs last month, far more than the 8,000 analysts expected. The unemployment rate held at 10 percent.

In greater China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng benchmark climbed 304.64 points, or 1.4 percent, to 22,601.39 and Shanghai’s main index added 27.58 points, or 0.9 percent, to 3,223.33. Chinese markets were also supported by news regulators were moving ahead with plans for stock futures and other trading products that could make the market more attractive to investors.

Japan’s stock market was closed for a holiday.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s benchmark gained 1.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,696.16. India’s market added 0.5 percent, Singapore’s market rose 0.6 percent and Australia’s index was up 0.8 percent.

Friday on Wall Street, the Dow rose 11.33, or 0.1 percent, to 10,618.19.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.29, or 0.3 percent, to 1,144.98, its fifth straight advance. The Dow and the S&P 500 index ended at their highest levels since Oct. 1, 2008.

The Nasdaq composite index rose 17.12, or 0.7 percent, to 2,317.17.

Oil prices jumped in Asia amid signs of strong Chinese demand for crude and rebel attacks on Nigerian supplies. Benchmark crude for February delivery was up 80 cents to $83.55; the contract rose 9 cents Friday.

The dollar slid to 92.24 yen from 92.54 yen. The euro strengthened to $1.4522 from 1.4430.