SEOUL, South Korea – Asian stock markets edged higher on Monday after Wall Street's strong finish last week. The U.S. dollar weakened against most major currencies, including the Japanese yen.
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KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.2 percent to 23,708.63 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,503.77. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index jumped 0.8 percent to 31,660.70 and China's Shanghai Composite Index added was flat at 3,429.08. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 inched up 0.1 percent to 6,075.20. Stocks in Southeast Asia were moderately higher.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "U.S. equity markets and the U.S. dollar took a different turn on Friday, with a buffet of drivers at work," said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG in Singapore. "The implication for Asian markets is one of sustained gains for the region on a quiet Monday."
WALL STREET: U.S. stock markets finished higher on Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.7 percent to finish at 2,786.24 and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.9 percent to 25,803.1. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 0.7 percent to 7,261.06 and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 0.3 percent to 1,591.97. U.S. markets are closed Monday for a public holiday.
OIL: The benchmark U.S. crude rose 13 cents to $64.43 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 50 cents to settle at $64.30 per barrel in the previous session. Brent crude, the international standard, was flat at $69.87 per barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 110.76 Japanese yen from 110.04 yen. The euro weakened to $1.2195 from $1.2199.