Asian stocks surge, buoyed by Wall Street rally, China trade

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Asian stocks surged Thursday in a second day of solid gains, buoyed by rallies on Wall Street and European markets, an uptick in China's trade and Singapore's unexpected easing of monetary policy.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 3.2 percent to 16,911.05, as the yen slightly weakened against the dollar. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.9 percent to 21,343.63 while the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.1 percent at 3,068.61. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2 percent to 5,187.70. South Korea's KOSPI climbed 1.8 percent to 2,015.83. Southeast Asian markets were mixed, while markets in Thailand and India were closed for holidays.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday as quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the U.S., lifted financial stocks. Industrial stocks and tech stocks rose on reports that exports from China grew 11.5 percent in March compared with a year earlier. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 187.03 points, or 1.1 percent, to 17,908.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 20.70 points, or 1 percent, to 2,082.42. The Nasdaq composite index advanced 75.33 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,947.42.

THE QUOTE: "Overnight action confirms that China trade data released yesterday is a game changer," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets. "Strong continuations of commodity and US share rallies, and a melt-up on continental bourses, have futures traders expecting further strength in Asia Pacific shares in trading today."

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 54 cents to $41.23 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 41 cents to $41.76 a barrel on Wednesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 63 cents to $43.55.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.1260 from $1.1275 on Wednesday. The dollar fell to 109.37 from 109.43 yen.