Asia-Pacific Markets

Asian Stocks End Higher on US Recovery Hopes with Wires

Asia's key indexes rebounded Friday from losses in the previous session, after strong U.S. jobs data reinforced hopes the economy is recovering.

U.S. non-farm productivity rose more than expected in the third quarter, while a separate report showed fewer U.S. workers filed new jobless insurance claims than forecast last week,
hitting a 10-month low.

Japan's Nikkei Average pared earlier gains slightly to close 0.7 percent higheron Friday as exporters advanced after strong U.S. jobs data reinforced hopes the economy is recovering.

Pioneer shares soared 8 percent, lifted by a brokerage upgrade after the consumer electronics firm said it would raise less funds for the financial year than expected.

NEC surged 9 percent on short-covering, after the country's largest PC maker said it plans to raise up to 150 billion yen ($1.7 billion) in a share offering to shore up its capital and invest in growth businesses.

However, T&D Holdings sank 11 percent, the biggest drag on the Nikkei, on news the insurer may sell new shares to raise up to $1.3 billion to repay debt.

Toyota gave up the morning's gains to finish the session down 1.68 percent, after the world's biggest car maker' posted a surprise quarterly profit and cut its annual loss forecast.

The Nikkei gained 71.9 points to 9,789.3, while the broader Topix slipped 0.11 percent to 874.1.

Australian stocks closed up 1.9 percent, boosted by the central bank's upgraded forecast for the domestic economy and better economic news that sparked a rally on Wall Street.

The Reserve Bank of Australia gave a bulish view of the economy, expecting 2010 growth close to trend and held out prospect for years of above-trend growth.

The benchmark S&P/ASX index rose 86 points to 4,594.0, after losing 0.7 percent on Thursday.

Australian toll road operator Transurban Group jumped another 5.9 percent after soaring nearly 20 percent on Thursday, having rejected a $4.4 billion buyout approach from two Canadian pension funds, but left the door open to a better offer.

David Jones turned around from yesterday's losses to advance 5.4 percent on positive broker comments on its quarterly sales results. Shares of the department store retailer had suffered heavy selling on Thursday after its first-quarter sales growth came in well below analysts' forecasts.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.5 percent to 3,160.1.

Seoul shares also advanced, with car parts firms, steel makers and brokerage issues rebounding in a positive reaction to the broad-based rally in U.S. stocks on robust economic data.

POSCO climbed 4.1 percent, shares in Hyundai Mobis rose 4.2 percent and its affiliate Hyundai Motor gained 2.4 percent.

SK Energy, the country's biggest crude refiner, surged 3.2 percent on persistent expectations about its lithium-ion battery output.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index was 1.30 percent higher at 1,572.40 points.

Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.6 percent, backed by major tech exporters following strong gains on Wall Street. TSMC and Acer rose 0.6 percent each.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore's STI climbed 1.3 percent, supported by big caps such as SingTel and Wilmar International. Financials also advanced, led by DBS after the country's largest bank posted a 49 perecnt surge in third quarter profit.

Malaysia's KLCI rose 0.5 percent to track the rest of the region higher.

The Hong Kong market advanced 1.6 percent, as the Hang Seng index tracked gains on Wall Street.  Property stocks rebounded from yesterday's selling. Banks and telcos also chalked up gains.

Lenovo rose as much as 3 percent to a one-week intraday high, before paring gains to 2 percent.

Its shares outperformed the broader market, as the world's No. 4 PC brand's second-quarter net profit more than doubled to $53.08 million, way ahead of market forecast.

China's key Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.28 percent to 3164.0 points in afternoon trade, adding to Thursday's 0.9 percent rise.

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