World markets go up
Tokyo shares led the way with a 3 percent gain as the region, taking cues after Wall Street closed Friday at its highest levels since November, staged a broad-based rebound from last week’s heavy selling. Oil prices rose above $74 a barrel and the dollar climbed against the yen.
Investors poured into stocks after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the prospects for a near-term recovery in the world’s largest economy appeared to be good. Also boosting confidence was a better-than-expected rise in U.S. home sales last month that helped relieve some of the fears about American consumers that have held stock markets down lately.
There was evidence of economic renewal in Asia as well. Thailand’s economy emerged from recession in the second quarter thanks to increased government spending and manufacturing resuming growth after steep declines.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average gained 342.85 points, or 3.4 percent, to 10,581.05.
In China, the main Shanghai index was up for a third straight day, gaining 0.8 percent to 2,983.22, after its sharp falls last week helped trigger selling around the world. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.9 percent to 20,589.97.
South Korea’s Kospi advanced 2 percent, Taiwan’s index jumped 2.8 percent and Australia’s benchmark was 3.2 percent higher. India’s Sensex added 2.2 percent, and Thailand shares rose by 2 percent.
American consumers will likely be in focus again this week. High-profile readings on consumer sentiment due out Tuesday and Friday should help investors calibrate further their expectations about the health of American consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of U.S. economy activity and has been central to Asian-export growth.
On Friday, Wall Street finished the week on a high note, with the Dow up 155.91, or 1.7 percent, to 9,505.96, closing above 9,500 for the first time since Nov. 4.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 18.76, or 1.9 percent, to 1,026.13, its highest close since Oct. 6. And the Nasdaq composite index rose 31.68, or 1.6 percent, to 2,020.90, reaching its highest close since Oct. 1.
With U.S. futures trading higher, Wall Street looked to add to the advance.
Oil prices rose amid the brightening outlook for global demand. Crude for October delivery climbed 23 cents to $74.12 a barrel in Asian trade. The contract was up 98 cents on Friday.
The dollar rose to 94.95 yen compared to 94.38 yen, and the euro weakened to $1.4312 from $1.4341.
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