News Column

Asian stock markets inch higher

June 29, 2014

YOUKYUNG LEE, AP Business Writer



SEOUL, South Korea (AP) Asian stock markets inched higher Monday as investors prepared for a busy week of economic news that will give new clues about the strength of the global recovery.

Investor sentiment was dented last week by weak data from China and the U.S., the world's two biggest economies.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.1 percent to 15,112.53, reversing morning losses. Japan's economy ministry said the country's industrial output recovered slightly in May from a fall in the previous month.

South Korea's Kospi was up 0.3 percent to 1,995.25 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 23,276.46. China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.7 percent to 2,050.07.

Stocks in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia also rose. But Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent to 5,422.60, one day ahead of the central bank's rate-setting meeting.

Trading this week is likely to turn on data from China and the U.S. and a European Central Bank meeting. Last week, Asian stock markets were buffeted by weak U.S. consumer spending and sluggish growth in Chinese industrial profits.

A preliminary reading of China's manufacturing for June, due Tuesday, will be scrutinized for evidence the slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy has stabilized.

Monthly U.S. employment figures are due Thursday. On the same day, the European Central Bank holds its monthly rate-setting meeting, where it is widely expected to stick with its easing stance.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 29 cents to $105.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 10 cents on Friday.

In currencies, the dollar slipped to 101.32 yen from 101.41 yen late Friday. The euro dropped to $1.3645 from $1.3648.


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Source: Associated Press


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