Tokyo Olympics, China exports boost Asian markets

AP News
Posted: Sep 08, 2013 11:14 PM

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks opened higher on Monday, lifted by Tokyo's Olympic bid victory, Chinese export growth and an Australian conservative coalition's election victory.

Japanese stocks rallied, with the Nikkei 225 jumping nearly 1.9 percent to 14,122.10, and the yen fell after Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and a revised estimate showed the economy grew faster than previously reported in the second quarter. The Olympics are expected to provide a welcome boost, much of it in the construction sector, where the government is already spending heavily as part of its stimulus program.

Chinese stocks rose after data showed that the country's exports accelerated last month, raising hopes that the world's second largest economy will gradually recover from a painful downturn. Shanghai's benchmark index advanced 1.8 percent to 2,178.78 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 22,770.48.

Australian stocks gained after an election victory by the conservative Liberal party-led coalition, though the advance was modest because the victory was widely expected, which supports a repeal of the 30 percent tax on coal and iron ore miners' profits, which could help mining and resources companies. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7 percent to 5,180.20.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7 percent to 1,969.32. Benchmarks in Singapore, New Zealand and Indonesia also rose.

U.S. stocks ended fairly flat on Friday, after a set of jobs figures left investors uncertain over whether the Federal Reserve would start to scale back its monetary stimulus later this month. The Dow closed 0.1 percent lower at 14,922.50 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose marginally to 1,655.17. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.03 percent to 3,660.01.

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Benchmark crude for October delivery was down 28 cents to $110.25 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.16, or 2 percent, to close at $110.53 on Friday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3174 from $1.3173 late Friday, while the dollar rose to 99.57 yen from 99.10 yen.