Asian stock markets rise on easing Europe debt worries while forecasts boost tech stocks

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Asian stocks rise on easing Europe debt worries

TOKYO — Asian stock markets advanced Thursday after Spain’s deficit reduction plan eased worries about Europe’s debt mountain and good economic news sent U.S. stocks sharply higher.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average rose 1.6 percent to 10,556.78. Solid corporate earnings results also boosted sentiment in Tokyo.

South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.4 percent to 1,686.28 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4 percent to 20,289.18. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index was up 1.2 percent at 4,625.40 and benchmarks in mainland China, Singapore and Taiwan also climbed.

The Asian rally followed a big day on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 148.65 points, or 1.4 percent, to 10,896.91 — the highest level since May 4.

Spain announced a plan Wednesday to cut its big deficit, and analysts say the market’s rebound from last week’s drop reflects growing confidence that Europe’s debt problems are contained for now. Economic reports from the U.S. and Europe also helped reassure markets that the global recovery is intact.

Investors moved into tech stocks ahead of earnings from network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc. and following upbeat forecasts from Intel Corp. and IBM Corp.

The tech buying extended to Asia, boosting shares of South Korean chip makers. Samsung Electronics Co. jumped 2.4 percent, while Hynix Semiconductor Inc. surged 3.5 percent. Advantest Corp., a Japanese maker of memory chip testers, shot up 3.2 percent.

Sony Corp. added nearly 3 percent ahead of its annual earnings release later Thursday. The Japanese electronics and entertainment company is expected to book a far smaller net loss for last fiscal year through March 31.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1.4 percent to 1,171.67 on Wednesday while the Nasdaq rose 2.1 percent to 2,425.02.

Benchmark crude for June delivery was down 7 cents at $75.58 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, extending the previous day’s big drop after the International Energy Agency said global oil demand is expected to rise less than previously expected in 2010.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 93.16 yen from 93.21 yen. The euro edged up to $1.2650 from $1.2628 late Wednesday.

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