RTTNews - Asian markets ended trading on Friday in a positive note on increased optimism about global recovery. The Nikkei-225 Index in Japan advanced on satisfactory earnings from companies, the Australian market ended at a 9-month high, led by banks, energy and metal stocks, and the Indian market ended at a 52-week high. Positive closing on Wall Street also lifted market sentiment.

In the U.S., stocks ended the previous session at the best levels for the year despite some profit taking, encouraged by data related to weekly jobless claims and continuing claims, as well as respectable results for the 7-year note auction.

The Dow finished up by 83.74 points or 0.9% at 9,154, the Nasdaq advanced by 16.54 points or 0.8% to 1,984 and the S&P 500 rose by 11.60 points or 1.2% to 987.

The Nikkei 225 Average opened higher at 10,275 compared to its previous close of 10,65 following upbeat earnings and forecasts from company that increased the confidence the Japanese economy is showing signs of bottoming out and can change direction towards recovery. The index traded much above the unchanged line throughout the session and finally ended with a gain of 191.62 points, or 1.89% at 10,357. The broader Topix Index of all first section issues ended up 13.32 points, or 1.42% percent, to 950.

On the economic front, data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication showed that consumer prices dipped 1.8% year-on-year in June, faster than the 1.1% fall in the preceding month. Core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food prices, also dropped at a record pace, by 1.7% June, following the 1.1% fall in the preceding month. Economists had expected a 1.8% decline. A separate government report revealed that Unemployment rose to 5.4% in June, an increase of 0.2% from May,

Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $67.70, up $0.76 from its previous close in New York at $66.94 a barrel on Thursday.

Better-than-expected earnings from Sony Corp and Mitsui Fudosan, as well as weakening of the local currency against the dollar lifted trader sentiment.

Sony Corp., surged up 6.79% after reporting net loss for the first quarter that was sharply lower than the analysts' expectations. Among others, Tokyo Electron gained 4.20%, Fanuc added 1.70% and Canon rose 3.52%.

Mitsui Fudosan, the largest property developer in the country, rose 5.01% after reporting net profit for the first quarter that more than doubled. Among others in the sector, Sumitomo Realty & Development soared 6.50% and Mitsubishi Estate Co. gained 5.34%.

Banking stocks also ended in positive territory on recovery hopes. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rose 4.80%, Mizuho Financial added 0.94%, Resona Holdings advanced 1.16% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial edged up 0.50%.

In Australia, the All Ordinaries Index opened unchanged from previous close at 4,196 and moved northward taking cues from Wall Street where the indices closed at their best levels for the year. Increasing optimism that the global economy is showing signs of stabilization and is bound to start recovering later in the year attracted investors to the market. The index ended the session in positive territory with a gain of 53.60 points, or 1.28 at 4,250. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index also followed a similar trend and ended at 4,244, representing a gain of 53.60 points, or 1.28%.

On the economic front, a report released by the TD Securities and Melbourne Institute revealed that monthly inflation gauge for Australia rose at its fastest pace in seven years in July, primarily due to higher costs of communication, utilities and other housing related charges. The gauge rose 0.9% in July, which is the steepest rise in the seven-year history of the survey. This comes after a 0.4% rise in June.

Light sweet crude oil for September delivery ended the Asian trading session at $67.70, up $0.76 from its previous close in New York at $66.94 a barrel on Thursday.

Banks advanced on recovery hopes. ANZ Bank gained 4.45%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 2.84%, National Australia Bank advanced 2.36% and Westpac Banking increased 1.50%.

Metal stocks advanced on expectations of rise in demand. BHP Billiton gained 1.88%, Rio Tinto rose 3.96%, Gindalbie Metals advanced 1.74%, Iluka Resources increased 3.62% and Oz Minerals added 0.90%.

Energy stocks also ended higher following sharp recovery in crude oil prices. Woodside Petroleum rose 2.72%, Santos added 0.90%, Oil Search advanced 1.99% and Origin Energy gained 0.83%.

Mixed trading was witnessed among gold stocks. While Lihir Gold added 0.73%, Newcrest Mining remained unchanged from previous close. However, Sino Gold dropped 1.12% on profit taking.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ended sharply higher on increasing optimism about global recovery. The market opened sharply higher at 20,546 compared to its previous close at 20,234 and having consolidated the gains, moved sidewards in a narrow range and finally ended the session with a gain of 339.25 points, or 1.68% at 20,573.

Property stocks advanced on recovery hopes. Hang Lung Property surged up 5.97%, Henderson Land soared 5.79%, Sino Land gained 5.05%, SHK Property rose 3.90%, and New World Development increased 2.98%.

Banks and china-related stocks also ended in positive territory.

In South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI Index ended in the green as upbeat economic data boosted investor sentiment about recovery. The market opened slightly higher at 1,543 and surged ahead following satisfactory earnings as well as optimistic outlook from companies. The KOSPI Index ended with a gain of 22.55 points or 1.47% at 1,557.

Firm overseas markets and consistent buying by foreign funds on the back of impressive corporate earnings lifted India's frontline indexes, the Sensex and the Nifty, sharply higher despite some mid-session selling due to weekend profit taking following weak European markets.

The BSE Sensex finished at 15,670, up 282 points or 1.83% from its previous close, and the S&P CNX Nifty rose 65 points or 1.42% to 4,636.

Among the other major markets in the region, China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 90.50 points, or 2.72% to close at 3,412, Singapore's Strait Times Index advanced 23.01 points, or 0.87% to close at 2,659, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index added 25.10 points, or 1.09% to close at 2,323, and Taiwan's Weighted Index rose 50.60 points, or 0.72% at 7,078.

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