People look at [auth] the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Japan’s benchmark stock index, reopening after a long weekend holiday, surged Tuesday in the wake of a U.S. jobs report issued late last week that handily beat expectations. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets were powered higher Wednesday by an improvement in China’s trade and yet another record-busting session on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time ever Tuesday, driven by optimism that the U.S. economy will keep gaining momentum.
There was also good news from China, where the government reported that growth in imports and exports accelerated in April, suggesting that the world’s No. 2 economy might be strengthening after an unexpected decline in the first quarter of 2013.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1.4 percent to 14,371.65. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 percent to 23,189.74. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7 percent to 5,180.40. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.3 percent to 1,959.21. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines rose.
Analysts at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore said in a commentary that investors view the U.S. economy as one that is “growing, more or less, and that’s a heck of a lot better than what’s going on in Europe,” which is mired in recession.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.6 percent to close at 15,056.20 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.5 percent to 1,625.96. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.1 percent, to 3,396.63.
Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 10 cents to $95.52 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 54 cents to finish at $95.62 per barrel on the Nymex on Tuesday.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3091 from $1.3084 late Tuesday in New York. The dollar rose to 99.10 yen from 99.40 yen.