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Asian markets surge on optimism about China, US

 A currency trader walks by a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Kor...
 Visitors react to the huge gains in the Taiwan Stock Exchange at a brokerage in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 4, 2009. The Taiwan Stock Exchange soared...
 A man walks past a monitor displaying huge gains in the Taiwan Stock Exchange  in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 4, 2009. The Taiwan Stock Exchange soar...
 Visitors enjoy the huge gains in the Taiwan Stock Exchange at a brokerage in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 4, 2009. The Taiwan Stock Exchange soared fo...
 South Korean currency traders work near a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), right, and world stock price at the Korea Exc...
 A currency trader work in front of screens showing the World Stock Price at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 4...
 An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company Monday May 4, 2009 in Shanghai, China. Chinese shares rose Monday, buoye...
 An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company Monday May 4, 2009 in Shanghai, China. Chinese shares rose on Monday, bu...

South Korea World Markets

A currency trader walks by a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Kor...

Taiwan Markets

Visitors react to the huge gains in the Taiwan Stock Exchange at a brokerage in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 4, 2009. The Taiwan Stock Exchange soared...

Taiwan Markets

A man walks past a monitor displaying huge gains in the Taiwan Stock Exchange in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 4, 2009. The Taiwan Stock Exchange soar...

Taiwan Markets

Visitors enjoy the huge gains in the Taiwan Stock Exchange at a brokerage in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, May 4, 2009. The Taiwan Stock Exchange soared fo...

South Korea World Markets

South Korean currency traders work near a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), right, and world stock price at the Korea Exc...

South Korea World Markets

A currency trader work in front of screens showing the World Stock Price at the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 4...

China Markets

An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company Monday May 4, 2009 in Shanghai, China. Chinese shares rose Monday, buoye...

China Markets

An investor looks at the stock price monitor at a private securities company Monday May 4, 2009 in Shanghai, China. Chinese shares rose on Monday, bu...

Asian stock markets soared Monday, led by gains of 5 percent or more in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and India, amid upbeat economic signs from China and the United States. European markets opened higher, too.
Investors were cheered by a survey of purchasing managers at Chinese manufacturers that rose for a second month in April. U.S. manufacturing activity in April also posted its best showing since September, suggesting that American economy _ a vital export market for Asia _ might be stabilizing. Futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street Monday.
"There are hopeful signs that the U.S. will weather the financial crisis," said Francis Lun, general manager at Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index jumped 860.06 points, or 5.5 percent, to 16,381.05, while India's Sensex was up more than 6 percent in afternoon trading. Singapore's Straits Times Index climbed 5.6 percent.
Taiwanese shares surged on hopes for improved business ties with China. The benchmark index surged 5.6 percent to 6,330.40, building on strong gains last week, when the island's government decided to allow mainland institutional investors to invest in the Taiwan stock market.
Mark Tan, a fund manager at UOB Asset Management in Singapore, said investment funds were moving money out of cash and back into stock markets, such as those in Taiwan and South Korea, where they had been underweight in their portfolios.
As trading opened in Europe, Germany's DAX rose 1.4 percent to 4,833.71 and France's CAC-40 gained 0.1 percent to 3,184.33.
China's monthly survey of purchasing managers for more than 700 manufacturers _ a key indicator _ rose to 53.5 in April from March's 52.4, the government-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing reported Friday, when many markets across Asia were closed.
"The higher PMI index indicates a revival. Investors expect to see better economic figures for April," said Zhang Xiang, an analyst for Guodu Securities in Beijing.
Investors were also encouraged by a report forecasting that the Chinese economy will expand 7 percent in the second quarter, up from 6.1 percent in the previous quarter.
China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.3 percent to 2,559.91, while South Korea's Kospi index climbed 2.1 percent to 1,397.92, its highest close this year, led by gains in local banks.
Australia's benchmark rose 3 percent as resources stocks gained on the back of higher commodities prices. Global mining giant BHP Billiton rose 2.5 percent, while rival Rio Tinto surged 4.9 percent.
"The market's perhaps turned a corner," said Burrell Stockbroking director Richard Herring in Brisbane, Australia. "A few months ago, it was just looking for bad news and now it's looking for more positive news."
Japan's financial markets will be closed Monday through Wednesday for the "Golden Week" holidays.
Investor concerns about swine flu seemed to be fading in the region, even though Asia reported its first two confirmed cases of the virus over the weekend _ in Hong Kong and South Korea. Both cases were in people who had recently arrived from Mexico. The South Korean has recovered and was released Monday from a military-run hospital just south of Seoul.
Authorities in Mexico, the epicenter of the disease, indicated that the epidemic was easing, and the World Health Organization decided not to raise its alert, though officials warned people against letting their guard down.
Wall Street advanced modestly Friday, but closed out their best one-month performance in nine years.
Stock index futures were higher. Dow futures were up 57 points, or 0.7 percent, to 8,238, while S&P 500 futures were up 5.9 points, or 0.7 percent, to 882.3.
The Federal Reserve said last week that the U.S. recession is starting to ease and signs emerged of a rebound in consumer spending and decline in business inventories even though gross domestic product contracted at a worse-than-expected annual rate of 6.1 percent.
Oil prices climbed, with benchmark crude for June delivery up 25 cents at $53.45 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In currencies, the dollar rose to 99.48 yen from 99.10 yen late Friday in New York. The euro rose to $1.3323 from $1.3268.
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Associated Press writers Annie Huang in Taipei, Taiwan, and Elaine Kurtenbach in Shanghai contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-24 02:34 GMT+08:00