Asian stock markets surged Friday as investor sentiment turned positive overnight following better-than-expected economic reports from the U.S.
Japanese benchmark Nikkei surged 1.17 percent or 104.35 points to 9051.22, Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 1.33 percent or 289.46 points to 22111.33 and South Korean KOSPI Composite surged 1.07 percent or 20.28 points to 1918.72, while India's BSE Sensex gained 1.19 percent and Chinese Shanghai advanced 0.60 percent.
Markets opened on a strong note, following the overnight gains from the Wall Street as better-than-expected reports on ADP employment, initial jobless claims and ISM Manufacturing suggested that the strength of the economic recovery in the world's largest economy is gaining some traction.
Payroll firm ADP Employer Services said that the U.S. private sector added 158,000 jobs in October, up from a revised 114,000 jobs added in September and also topped analysts’ estimate of 135,000 new jobs. The Labor Department said that Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 last week to seasonally adjusted 363,000 in the week ending Oct. 27, better than analysts’ estimate of 370,000 claims.
The ADP data came one day before the government's monthly nonfarm payroll report and raised hopes that October employment report would be better than what the initial consensus had indicated.
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A separate report showed that manufacturing activity in the world’s largest economy expanded for the second straight month in October. ISM's manufacturing purchasing managers Index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in October from 51.5 in September, better than economists' expectation of 51.2.
The encouraging reports came on the same day after an official report showed that Chinese manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in three months, indicating some stabilization in the global recovery trend, particularly in the U.S. and China.
"Downside risks are lessening thanks to the developments in the U.S. and China. Global conditions appear to be getting better and that points to a nuanced improvement in sentiment,” Toru Yamamoto, chief strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Reuters.
Japanese shares surged, led by gains from exporters and automakers. Honda Motor Co Ltd. surged 3.26 percent and Toyota Motor Corp. advanced 1.62 percent while Bridgestone Corp. gained 2.27 percent.
Panasonic Corp. declined 0.72 percent after plunging more than 19 percent in the previous as the company on Thursday reported massive quarterly loss and also cut its earnings forecast for fiscal 2012. Sharp Corp. declined 2.37 percent after the company raised its full year loss projection and said there was “material doubt” about its survival.
In Hong Kong, Want Want China Holdings Ltd. surged 5.47 percent and Esprit Holdings Ltd. gained 3.19 percent while China Overseas Land & Investment advanced 4.37 percent.
In Seoul, SK Hynix Inc. gained 1.76 percent and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. gained 2.31 percent while Hyundai Motors Co. fell 0.46 percent.