TOKYO – Asian stock markets mostly rose Tuesday, with Tokyo closing at a seven-year high, as investor sentiment got a boost from another record close on Wall Street.
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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 added 2.1 percent to 17,124.11, closing above 17,000 for the first time since October 2007, as a weakening yen added to optimism about the market's prospects. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent to 23,815.65 but China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.2 percent to 2,469.44. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched down 0.1 percent to 5,517.10 while markets in New Zealand and Southeast Asia rose.
THE QUOTE: "Investors reflected on sound corporate earnings and an encouraging macro environment," said Will Leys, sales trader at CMC Markets in Sydney. "The likelihood of low rates for the near term, combined with improving sentiment and low commodity prices, is currently offsetting concerns over the global growth outlook."
ECONOMY WATCH: Investors are looking to the release of revised Japanese July-September gross domestic product data from Japan next week. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said an indication of economic health is key in determining whether he will again raise the sales tax next year. Japan's economy took a hit when the sales tax was increased in April. But signs about the U.S. economy have been positive recently. Reports last week showed that U.S. manufacturing continued to expand and hiring remained healthy.
THE QUOTE-2: "The impact of the Bank of Japan's monetary easing is still being felt and can get reflected further with more time," said Jun Yunoki, strategist at Nomura Securities Co. in Tokyo, referring to the surprise move by the central bank late last month to flood the markets with even more cash. Talk about elections to assess public opinion over a sales tax rise next year can help ease market anxiety about the Japanese economy, he said. An economic survey by the Cabinet Office released after markets closed did not indicate a rebound in October.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks are trading at record levels, rebounding on the back of solid company earnings and signs the world's No. 1 economy is on a growth track. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 6.34 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,038.26 on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 39.81 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,613.74. The Nasdaq composite climbed 19.08 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,651.62.
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ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was down 38 cents to $77.02 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.25 to close at $77.40 on Monday.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 115.37 yen from 114.94 yen late Monday. The euro slipped to $1.2419 from $1.2425.
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