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Asian markets regain confidence after US data
 
 
 
HONG KONG (AFP) - Asia stocks surged Wednesday as positive US corporate earnings and greater optimism about Europe steadied nerves in China and Japan, but optimism wilted in Mumbai on fears of an interest rate hike.
Japanese shares closed up 2.71 percent as Wall Streets sixth consecutive gain lifted spirits. The Nikkei index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange jumped 258.01 points to 9,795.24, while the Topix index of first-section shares rose 1.91 percent.
The market was bullish as the US second-quarter earnings season gained momentum, with aluminium giant Alcoa swinging to profit and chip giant Intel reporting its best ever quarterly profits.
Greeces successful bond issue boosted confidence in Europe, offsetting worries that had been exacerbated by Moodys downgrade of Portugals sovereign debt rating.
There have been some upgrades on US technology stocks after Intels result that have helped broader market sentiment today, Macquarie Private Wealth client adviser Marcus Droga told Dow Jones Newswires. It all looks pretty positive at this stage.
After a poor start to the week for the exchange, Japanese hi-tech shares gained in particular, helped by a weaker yen: Kyocera jumped 4.42 percent, TDK 5.13 percent and Elpida Memory 3.55 percent.
Ratings agency Standard & Poors urged Japan this week to get a grip on its public debt amid fears of a lengthy stalemate after the governments rout at weekend polls.
Singapores Straits Times Index closed up 0.82 percent at 2,952.81 as the city state upgraded its 2010 growth forecast to a blistering 13-15 percent, potentially making it the worlds fastest growing economy.
Oil rig maker Keppel Corporation rose 10 cents to 8.90 and agribusiness firm Wilmar International gained eight cents to 6.10.
Sydneys S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 1.87 percent, unflustered by a downward revision of the countrys growth projection for 2010-11 to 3.0 percent from 3.25 percent. Banks and resources led the rise, with Macquarie up 2.29 percent and AMP up 2.98 percent.
Hong Kong closed up 0.64 percent and Shanghai up 0.82 percent, off intra-day highs as traders remained cautious about upcoming US and Chinese economic data as well as the mega IPO of Agricultural Bank of China later in the week. Beijing releases inflation and growth statistics on Thursday.
Bank stocks in both cities led the gains, with Bank of China rising 4.28 percent in Hong Kong, also lifted by a decision allowing it to handle yuan cash settlement services for Taiwan.
But in Mumbai early exuberance faded as data showed that the nations double-digit inflation had edged higher in June to an annual rate of 10.55 percent, fuelling fears of further monetary policy tightening.
The 30-share Sensex ended down 0.27 percent, or 47.74 points, at 17,938.16, snapping four straight days of gains, after an intra-day two-year high.
Indias second-largest software exporter Infosys fell 1.9 percent, a day after it announced a surprise 2.4 percent fall in first-quarter consolidated net profit.
The countrys third largest software exporter Wipro fell 1.89 percent.
 
 
on epaper page 20
 
 
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