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Monday 22 January 2018

Asia stocks rise after Dow boost

Asian stock markets rose after the Dow Jones industrial average hit another all-time high
Asian stock markets rose after the Dow Jones industrial average hit another all-time high

Asian stock markets mostly traded higher today after the Dow Jones industrial average hit another all-time high.

Tokyo's Nikkei rose 1.7% to 14,510.56 and South Korea's Kospi added 1.1% to 1,998.41.

China's Shanghai Composite inched up 0.3% to 2,116.22, and markets in Thailand, Taiwan and New Zealand also rose.

The PSE Composite in Manila climbed 0.5% to 6,294.55 after sinking the day before. The Philippines is grappling with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, with thousands believed dead and shattered communications and transportation links hampering recovery efforts.

Bucking the uptrend, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.7% to 22,914.37 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.2% to 5,389.6.

Most Asian markets got a boost from upbeat US economic figures on Friday including a strong US jobs report for October, even though it raised the prospect the Federal Reserve will reduce monetary stimulus that has buoyed stocks.

The world's largest economy added 204,000 jobs last month, trumping market expectations for 125,000 jobs.

On Monday, the Dow rose 0.1% to a new high of 15,783.10 amid thin trading volume. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 0.1% to 1,771.89 - close to its own record reached on October 29. The Nasdaq composite rose less than 0.1% to 3,919.79.

With an economic planning meeting of China's communist leaders set to wrap up later in the day, investors are waiting to see if Beijing's new leadership announces reform plans or a change in the country's growth target.

Growth in the world's second largest economy sank to a two-decade low of 7.5% in second quarter of the year, putting pressure on Beijing to revamp state-dominated industry.

Investors are also awaiting the US Senate Banking Committee's confirmation hearing for Janet Yellen as the new Federal Reserve chief on Thursday for new clues about when the Fed could begin to unwind its monetary stimulus.

In energy markets, benchmark crude for December delivery was down 30 cents to 94.84 dollars in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 54 cents to 95.14 dollars on Monday.

Press Association

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