Asian stock markets rise

BANGKOK – Asian stock markets rose Friday after encouraging economic data from China and Europe raised hopes that a global economic recovery was underway.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.3 per cent to 13,667.12. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.1 per cent to 5,132.70. South Korea’s Kospi added 1.2 per cent to 1,870.91. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 per cent to 22,030.44.

A survey released Thursday by HSBC Corp. indicated that manufacturing in China had expanded in August, the latest evidence that the world’s second-largest economy may be over its recent weakness. HSBC’s preliminary purchasing managers index rose to 50.1 from July’s 47.7 — crossing the critical 50 threshold to indicate an expansion in activity.

“This should reassure even the most bearish that China has avoided a hard landing for now,” Qinwei Wang of Capital Economics wrote in an email commentary.

Additional good economic news came from Europe, where manufacturing and services for the 17 countries that use the euro climbed to its highest level since June 2011.

The eurozone’s purchasing managers’ index, a key gauge of growth in both the manufacturing and services sectors, rose to 51.7 points in August from 50.4 in July, according to financial information company Markit.

On Thursday in New York, the Dow Jones industrial average ended a six-day losing streak, while a technical glitch halted trading on the Nasdaq for most of the afternoon. The Dow rose 0.4 per cent to 14,963.74. The S&P 500 gained 0.9 per cent to 1,656.96. The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.1 per cent to 3,638.71.

Benchmark oil for October delivery rose 5 cents to $105.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.18 to close at $105.03 a barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3349 from $1.3365 late Thursday. The dollar rose to 98.96 yen from 98.72 yen.