Stimulus hope lifts Nikkei again, other Asian markets tepid

AP News
Posted: Jul 11, 2016 11:51 PM
Stimulus hope lifts Nikkei again, other Asian markets tepid

HONG KONG (AP) — Japanese stocks jumped again, leading gains in Asian markets Tuesday as investors remained hopeful about the prospects of more stimulus following a stronger-than-expected election victory by the country's ruling coalition.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged 2.7 percent to 16,124.36. Other regional indexes were more subdued, with South Korea's Kospi edging up 0.1 percent to 1,990.46 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng adding 0.7 percent to 21,021.69. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China was flat at 2,994.88 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.9 percent to 5,382.60. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia posted modest gains.

JAPAN SENTIMENT: Investors continue to feel bullish after results on Monday showed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, which heads the ruling coalition, emerged victorious from parliamentary elections. Abe has promised new government spending to help aggressively jolt Asia's second-biggest economy back to life. While he has released few details, investors are betting he'll keep flooding the markets with money by expanding bond purchases using newly printed money in a program known as quantitative easing.

THE QUOTE: "Abe has always been supportive of quantitative easing, thus his victory has brought more hope to the market that we will probably see a new round of 'Abenomics' soon," said Margaret Yang of CMC Markets in Singapore.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks had a strong finish. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at a record high, up 0.3 percent to 2,137.16, which beat its previous record close of 2,130.82 set on May 21, 2015. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.4 percent to 18,226.93 and the Nasdaq composite rose 0.6 percent to 4,988.64.

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ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude added 9 cents to $44.86 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 65 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $44.76 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, a standard for international oil prices, rose 14 cents to $46.39 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 103.09 yen from 102.61 yen in late trading Monday. The euro rose to $1.1084 from $1.1060.