By YOUKYUNG LEE, Associated Press
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets advanced Friday as a batch of upbeat economic data from the U.S. and China and overnight gains on Wall Street bolstered investor sentiment.
The latest data from the world's two largest economies showed a recovery in China's manufacturing sector and growing confidence among American consumers. The reports fanned hope that the global economy may emerge out of the recent slumber and put itself back on track to recovery early next year.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index advanced 1.3 percent to 9,064.20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.1 percent to 22,070.22 and South Korea's Kospi gained 1 percent to 1,917.94. Australia's S&P/ASX200 inched up 0.2 percent to 4,465.90. Benchmark indices in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia rose but mainland Chinese shares fell.
Data from the U.S. Institute for Supply Management showed that American factories saw increased orders and more production last month, posting growth for two straight months.
The Conference Board further emboldened investor sentiment after saying that Americans' confidence in the economy surged in October to a nearly five-year high, largely encouraged by an improved job market. Earnings reports from retailers and automakers including Chrysler were also solid.
The data that showed crucial players in the economic recovery are gaining confidence added to the upbeat report that China's economy is improving. China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing's monthly purchasing managers' index showed earlier this week that the world's No. 2 economy saw an improvement in manufacturing last month.
Wall Street ended its second trading day on a higher note after Hurricane Sandy disrupted U.S. trading on Monday and Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 1 percent to close at 13,232.62. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.1 percent to 1,427.59. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index finished up 1.4 percent at 3,020.06.
Benchmark oil for December delivery fell 15 cents to $86.94 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 85 cents Thursday to finish at $87.09 per barrel in New York.
In currencies, the euro fell to $1.2931 from $1.2939. The dollar rose to 80.25 yen from 80.18 yen.
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