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Asian stock markets extend gains after G-20 pledge

Asian stock markets extend gains after G-20 pledge

Asian stock markets climbed Friday after the world's major powers pledged more than $1 trillion to combat the global economic crisis and China's hard-hit factories showed signs of new life.
But gains were somewhat more subdued after a spectacular rally in recent weeks that's lifted leading markets from Japan to New York by double-digit percentages.
The latest catalyst came Thursday as the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations promised $1.1 trillion to the International Monetary Fund and other development bodies to lend to less-well-off countries reeling from the global economic turmoil. They also vowed new efforts to clean up banks' tattered balance sheets, shut down tax havens and tighten financial regulations.
Investors, their expectations low for any meaningful progress, cheered the moves _ the latest as governments everywhere bring unprecedented resources to bear against the worst economic slump since the Great Depression.
"There was a fear at the G-20 was going to turn out to be damp squid and it appears instead there was some unity and progress," said Miles Remington, head of Asian sales trading at BNP Paribas Securities in Hong Kong.
Also boosting sentiment were new figures showing Chinese manufacturing expanded slightly in March for the first time in six month. The data supported hopes the Chinese economy _ the world's third-largest and a key source of demand for other Asian countries _ may be nearing a bottom.
Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 110.63 points, or 1.3 percent, to 8,830.41, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 73.79, 0.5 percent, to 14,595.76. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.7 percent to 1,285.39.
Elsewhere, Shanghai's key index edged up about 0.1 percent. Stock measures in Australia and Taiwan gained over 1 percent.
Overnight in New York, the buying spree on Wall Street showed no signs of slowing.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 216.48, or 2.8 percent, to close at 7,978.08, posting its best four weeks since 1933. Broader market indicators also rose sharply, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index up 23.30, or 2.9 percent, to 834.38.
But Wall Street futures were slightly lower, suggesting U.S. markets might give back some of their gains. Dow futures fell 12 ppints, or 0.2 percent, to 7,946 and S&P500 futures fell 1.6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 833.90.
Oil slipped below $52 a barrel Friday in Asia after surging overnight on investor optimism crude demand will soon rebound if the U.S. recession has bottomed. Benchmark crude for May delivery fell 67 cents to $51.97. The contract rose $4.25 on Thursday to settle at $52.64.
In currencies, the dollar slipped to 99.66 yen from 99.79 yen. The euro was lower at $1.3436 from $1.3461.


Updated : 2021-10-18 00:52 GMT+08:00