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Asian shares pare weekly losses

February 7, 2014

Asian stocks inclined by the end of this week, with the regional benchmark heading towards the third straight day in green. Asian shares are backed with the decline in the U.S. jobless claims, in addition to company`s earnings. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 1% to 132.82 as of 11:01 a.m in Tokyo, having all 10 industry groups picking up. Today`s gain pared the benchmark`s weekly fall to 1.5%, giving traders a chance to offset some losses. Moreover, Honda Motor Co. climbed 1.8%, while Sony Corp. added 2.1% in Tokyo, after the company announced job cuts and reorganization. Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd rose 56% in Sydney, while GS Engineering & Construction Corp declined 11% in Seoul. Data released Thursday showed the U.S. jobless claims declined for the first time in three weeks, declining 20,000 to 331,000 from a previous revised 351,000 in the period ended February 1. The reading came better than forecasts that referred to 335,000, which added more optimism about the strength of recovery in the labor sector. The Labor Department also announced that U.S. non-farm payrolls grew 180,000 in January following a 74,000 gain in December 2013, signaling further improvements in the labor market. Australia`s S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 0.6%, as the Reserve Bank raised its economic growth and inflation forecasts and South Korea`s Kospi index picked up 0.3%. New Zealand`s NZX 50 index rose 0.5%, extending yesterday`s gain, while Japan`s Topix index inclined 1.6% along with weaker yen. As for companies` earnings, among the 272 companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index that reported quarterly earnings starting January 2014 and have market estimates, 52% beat analysts` estimates for profit, which helped to push Asian shares upside on hopes to see better corporate activity this year.

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Source: Financial Markets

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