Asia stocks track US higher; Europe narrowly mixed

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2009 4:04 AM

Asian stocks extended their gains Tuesday after Wall Street touched its highest level for 2009 amid optimism low interest rates would continue to power this year's rally in global markets. European shares were narrowly mixed.

Although Asia's rally ran out of momentum toward the end of the session, it marked the region's third straight advance. Oil and gold prices softened, while the dollar slipped against the yen.

Investors were cheered by an overnight surge in the U.S., where the Dow Jones rocketed 2 percent Monday to its best finish since Oct. 3, 2008. Also boosting traders' moods in Asia was news the Group of 20 major countries will keep economic stimulus measures in place, as well as relatively healthy earnings reports at Japanese companies, analysts said.

Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities Ltd. in Hong Kong, said more signs of trouble for the global economy, including rising unemployment in the U.S., were nevertheless assuring investors that existing loose-money policies would continue.

"It is a matter of twisted logic," he said. "They forget the fact that the economy is lousy and we are still in a recession."

As trading started in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent, Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent and France's CAC-40 shed 0.2 percent. Wall Street futures, meanwhile, augured a lackluster opening. Dow futures lost 0.3 percent to 10,160, while S&P futures were off 0.4 percent at 1,087.10.

Japan's Nikkei stock average added 61.74 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 9,870.73, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.3 percent to 22,268.16, though traded well of the day's highs.

South Korea's markets gained 0.4 percent to 1,582.30. Shares were also higher in mainland China, Australia, Taiwan and the Philippines. But India's market fell 0.4 percent.

In the U.S., the Dow rose 203.52, or 2 percent, to 10,226.94. The index hit 10,228.23 at one point, topping its previous 12-month trading high of 10,119.46 set last month.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 23.78, or 2.2 percent.

Oil prices drifted below $79 in Asia, with benchmark crude for December delivery down 83 cents to $78.60. The contract rose $2 overnight.

In gold, prices slipped $1.6, or about 0.2 percent, to $1,099.8 an ounce.

The dollar was trading at 89.72 yen, down from 89.95 yen. The euro edged lower to $1.4981.