Asia stocks rise on China stimulus hopes, Wall St. rebound

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street rebounded and China's leaders promised more measures to shore up slowing growth.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 percent to 4,477.23 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3 percent to 28,210. Seoul's Kospi advanced 0.3 percent to 2,133.14 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.1 percent at 5,819.10. Manila and Jakarta also rose. Singapore and New Zealand declined. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.

CHINA SLOWDOWN: The Communist Party's Politburo met last week and promised "forceful" measures to support economic growth that slumped to 7 percent in the first quarter, its lowest level since the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The party leadership called for boosting investment and streamlining the flow of money through the financial system. That came as surveys by HSBC Corp. and a Chinese industry group found April manufacturing activity was at or close to a 12-month low, hurt by weak domestic demand.

THE QUOTE: "China's authorities are becoming more concerned about the economic downturn," said UBS economist Tao Wang in a report. "In the next couple of months, we expect the government to speed up infrastructure investment with enhanced support from policy banks and cut the benchmark interest rate."

WALL STREET: American stocks bounced back Friday as investors picked up companies that had dropped earlier in the week. Analysts cautioned not to read too much into the rally. Recent data have raised concern about the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 183 points, or 1 percent, to 18,024. It fell 195 points the day before. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 22 points, or 1.1 percent, to 2,108. The Nasdaq composite rose 63 points, or 1.3 percent, to 5,005.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 8 cents to $59.07 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 48 cents on Friday to close at $59.15. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 13 cents to $66.33 after declining 32 cents on Friday to $66.46.

CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 120.10 yen from Friday's 120.17 yen. The euro declined to $1.1187 from $1.1201.