HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks rocketed higher Friday after the European Central Bank signaled that it's considering more stimulus to revive the continent's ailing economy.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.3 percent to 18,865.77 and South Korea's Kospi rose 1.4 percent to 2,050.35. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.3 percent to 23,137.84 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China rose 0.4 percent to 3,381.89. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.7 percent to 5,354.80.
EURO-BOOST: Asian markets are rallying on news that the European Central Bank is considering expanding its stimulus program in December as it weighs all available options to jumpstart Europe's stagnating economy. ECB chief Mario Draghi hinted Thursday that the bank might extend its 1.1 trillion euro ($1.2 trillion) bond purchase program and also take other measures, including cutting a key interest rate.
QUOTE-WORTHY: "Draghi's strong indication that the ECB is likely to add further monetary stimulus will create a sense of urgency for potential stock market buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks ended higher on the ECB news as well as healthy corporate earnings reports. The Dow Jones Industrial average climbed 1.9 percent to 17,489.16 and the S&P 500 index rose 1.7 percent to 2,052.51. The Nasdaq added 1.7 percent to 4,920.05.
ENERGY: In oil futures trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 21 cents to $45.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 18 cents to settle at $45.38 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 38 cents to $48.46 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 120.65 yen from 120.86 yen in the previous day's trading. The euro rose to $1.1107 from $1.1081.