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Asian stock markets gain on optimism on economies

Asian stock markets gain on optimism on economies

Most Asian stock markets advanced Tuesday as signs of recovery in the U.S. bolstered investor confidence that the region's economies will continue to expand at a breakneck pace.
Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index led gainers jumping 0.7 percent to 4,952. China's benchmark index rose 0.2 percent, Malaysia gained 0.3 percent, Indonesia added 0.5 percent and Singapore increased 0.2 percent
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average fell 0.4 percent and South Korea's Kospi index dropped 0.2 percent.
In New York on Monday, the Dow Jones industrials gained 46.48, or 0.4 percent, to 10,973.55 as reports of strong improvements in demand at services businesses and in the housing market added to an optimistic mood among traders.
"The rest of the world is recovering and that adds some gas to Asia's fire, both in terms of fundamental demand and improving confidence," Singapore's DBS bank said in a report. "The upward surge in industrial output in the region that has been under way for more than a year now shows absolutely no sign of letting up."
Asian gross domestic product grew more than 10 percent annualized in each of the last three quarters of 2009, DBS said. Countries will begin announcing preliminary GDP results for the first quarter later this month.
In currencies, the dollar slipped to 94.14 yen on Tuesday from 94.34 on Monday. The euro fell to $1.3426 from $1.3482.
Benchmark crude for May delivery were down 16 cents to $86.46 a barrel.