Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Business / Technology


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published March 26, 2009 at 10:07 PM | Page modified March 26, 2009 at 11:55 PM

NEW - Introducing a new blog

Sound Economy with Jon Talton

Veteran financial journalist Jon Talton blogs daily on the most important economic news, trends and issues involving Seattle and the Northwest.

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Asian stocks mostly higher after US extends rally

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday, following gains on Wall Street as stronger-than-expected earnings reports from leading U.S. companies added to newfound optimism about the world economy.

AP Business Writer

HONG KONG —

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Friday, following gains on Wall Street as stronger-than-expected earnings reports from leading U.S. companies added to newfound optimism about the world economy.

The region's modest advance extended this month's bull run, driven by government measures to end American's recession as well as signs its banks and economy are faring better than expected.

The latest upbeat news again came from the U.S., where bellwether firms Best Buy Co. and ConAgra Foods Inc. reported results that topped Wall Street's forecasts. Good demand at a U.S. government debt auction - critical to funding the country's huge economic stimulus and financial bailout programs - also encouraged traders.

While there may be more upside to the March rally, many investors will continue to watch closely for corporate distress during earnings seasons in Asia and elsewhere. Further evidence that government measures worldwide are starting to filter through the broader economy will also figure heavily.

"We're turning a little bit more cautious for the shorter term, although the macro data and government measures are quite encouraging," said Diane Lin, a Sydney-based fund manager at Pengana Capital. "We still need to see the whole packages unfold and what that will bring to the economy and the financial system."

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 88.16 points, or 1 percent, to 8,724.49. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.7 percent to 3,6723.4, while Shanghai's key index climbed 0.5 percent to 2,374.47. Markets in Taiwan and the Philippines also gained.

Hong's Kong Hang Seng declined 0.5 percent at 14,035.55 in a choppy session, while South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.2 percent to 1,241.99.

Overnight in New York, the Dow jumped 174.75, or 2.3 percent, at 7,924.56, its highest close since Feb. 12. Broader stock indicators also gained, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 18.98, or 2.3 percent, to 832.86.

Wall Street's was headed for a lower open after U.S. futures lost ground. Dow futures were down 21 points, or 0.3 percent, while S&P futures were down 3.3 points, or 0.4 percent.

Oil prices retreated from a new high for the year touched Thursday on concerns about the sustainability of recent gains. Benchmark crude for May delivery fell 60 cents to $53.74 a barrel by midday in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 98.31 yen from 98.63 yen, while the euro rose to $1.3575 from $1.3528.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

More Business & Technology headlines...

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising


Get home delivery today!

More Business & Technology

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

UPDATE - 09:32 AM
Bank stocks push indexes higher; oil prices dip

UPDATE - 08:04 AM
Ford CEO Mulally gets $56.5M in stock award

UPDATE - 07:54 AM
Underwater mortgages rise as home prices fall

NEW - 09:43 AM
Warner Bros. to offer movie rentals on Facebook

Advertising

Video

Marketplace

Advertising