Asian stocks mostly up after Dow hits record high

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets mostly traded higher Tuesday after the Dow Jones industrial average hit another all-time high.

Tokyo's Nikkei jumped 1.9 percent to 14,534.91 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent to 1,991.26. China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.5 percent to 2,119.04. Stocks in Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and India also rose.

The PSE Composite in Manila climbed 0.4 percent to 6,289.67 after sinking the day before. The Philippines is grappling with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Thousands are believed dead and shattered communications and transportation links are hampering recovery efforts.

Bucking the uptrend, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.2 percent to 23,028.63 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.1 percent to 5,393.10.

Most Asian markets got a boost from upbeat U.S. economic figures Friday including a strong U.S. jobs report for October, even though it raised the prospect the Federal Reserve will reduce monetary stimulus that has buoyed stocks. The world's largest economy added 204,000 jobs last month, trumping market expectations for 125,000 jobs.

On Monday, the Dow rose 0.1 percent to a new high of 15,783.10 amid thin trading volume. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 0.1 percent to 1,771.89. That is close to its own record high reached on Oct. 29. The Nasdaq composite rose less than 0.1 percent to 3,919.79.

With an economic planning meeting of China's communist leaders set to wrap up later in the day, investors are waiting to see if China's new leadership announces reform plans or a change in the country's growth target.

"The changes that will come out of the secret location in Beijing are expected to be some of the most liberal economic changes in post revolution China," Evan Lucas, a market strategist at IG, said in a report.

Growth in the world's No. 2 economy sank to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in second quarter of this year, putting pressure on Beijing to revamp state dominated industry.

Investors are also awaiting the U.S. Senate Banking Committee's confirmation hearing for Janet Yellen as the new Federal Reserve chief on Thursday for new clues about when the Fed could begin to unwind its monetary stimulus.

In energy markets, benchmark crude for December delivery was down 26 cents to $94.88 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 54 cents to $95.14 on Monday.

The euro fell to $1.3396 from $1.3401 late Monday. The dollar rose to 99.51 yen from 99.16 yen.