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Asia stocks higher on U.S. economic outlook; Nikkei up 1%

Stock Markets Jul 04, 2011 02:50AM ET
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Investing.com – Asian stock markets were broadly higher on Monday, as strong manufacturing data on Friday eased concerns over a slowdown in the pace of the U.S. economic recovery, while shares in Japanese exporters lifted the Nikkei to a two-month high.

During late Asian trade, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied 1.75%, South Korea's Kospi Composite gained 0.92%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped 0.98%.

Japanese exporters posted strong gains, boosted by the outlook for export earnings in the U.S. after data on Friday showed that the Institute for Supply Management’s June manufacturing index came in at 55.3, significantly higher than expectations for 51.5, marking the 23rd consecutive month of growth.
 
Honda, which gets nearly a third of its revenue from the U.S., saw shares climb 3.5%, while rivals Toyota and Nissan rose 1.5% and 1.1% respectively.

Meanwhile, progress for Greece continued over the weekend, with euro zone finance ministers authorizing a EUR8.7 billion tranche of bailout funds for the country, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Shares in the financial sector performed strongly, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group adding 2.75% and Mizuho Financial Group advancing 3%.

Other sharp gainers included Tokyo Electric Power Company, which soared 19.8% after Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said he was not aware about a possible government proposal to split up the power company and nationalize nuclear power operations.

In Hong Kong, shares in oil producers led gains after oil prices rose above USD95 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, boosting earnings prospects for energy explorers.

China’s largest offshore oil producer CNOOC saw shares jump 2.3%, PetroChina shares advanced 1.5%, while China Shenhua Energy rose 2.9%.

The outlook for European stock markets was downbeat. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a loss of 0.25%, France’s CAC 40 futures dipped 0.2%, the FTSE 100 futures eased down 0.15%, while Germany's DAX futures edged 0.1% lower. 

Later in the day, the euro zone was to publish official data on producer price inflation as well as a report on investor confidence, while markets in the U.S. were to remain closed for Independence Day.

Asia stocks higher on U.S. economic outlook; Nikkei up 1%
 

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