Asian stocks gain as US deals lift sentiment - KMOV.com

Asian stocks gain as US deals lift sentiment

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A currency trader watches monitors at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. Asian markets opened higher Tuesday as calm continued following last week's volatility. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) By Ahn Young-joon A currency trader watches monitors at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. Asian markets opened higher Tuesday as calm continued following last week's volatility. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) By Ahn Young-joon

BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stock markets mostly inched higher Tuesday after a round of corporate deals on Wall Street lifted sentiment following last week's gyrations.

Oil prices hovered near $87 a barrel in Asia amid investor optimism that global economy may not be slowing as much as feared. The dollar was higher against the yen and the euro.

Technology shares got a boost on news that Google is buying wireless phone maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash -- the largest deal ever for Google. Japanese memory chip maker Elpida Memory Inc. rose 4.3 percent. Samsung Electronics gained 4 percent and Hynix Semiconductor was up 3.5 percent.

The Google announcement, along with several other acquisitions announced in the U.S. on Monday, helped restore confidence in risky assets because such deals are interpreted as a sign that companies are more confident about the future.

But analysts were cautious about reading too much into Tuesday's stock gains.

"It's still too early to say whether this is a reversal of the previous downward trend. There are still a lot of uncertainties that are keeping investors on the sidelines," said Kwong Man Bun, chief operating officer at KGI Securities in Hong Kong.

The Dow rose or fell by at least 400 points on four straight days last week for the first time ever amid fears the U.S. economy could slide back into recession.

More swings could come this week. Leaders of France and Germany meet Tuesday to discuss Europe's debt problems. Spain and other countries have borrowed so much that they may need help to repay their bills.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.2 percent to 9,101.53. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent to 20,343.39, as a visit by Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang raised hopes for an announcement from Beijing that would be favorable to the territory.

South Korea's Kospi jumped 4.5 percent to 1,873.22 following a public holiday, with steelmaker POSCO soaring 7.7 percent. Benchmarks in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia were also higher.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.7 percent to 4,253.80 as Westpac Banking Corp. tumbled 4.4 percent and dragged down other financials. Australian flagship carrier Qantas Airways rose 1.4 percent after it announced plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs as part of a major shakeup of its international business.

Mainland Chinese shares and Taiwan's TAIEX were also lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial rose for the third day in a row Monday, closing up 1.9 percent at 11,482.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.2 percent to 1,204.49.

Benchmark oil for September delivery was down 53 cents to $87.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude surged $2.50 to settle at $87.88 on Thursday.

In London, Brent crude for October delivery was down 46 cents to $109.38 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

The euro dropped to $1.4425 from $1.4451 in late trading in New York. The dollar strengthened to 76.83 yen from 76.78 yen.

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