• Europe, China data push Asian stocks up

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    HONG KONG: Asian shares Tuesday extended their gains and the dollar pushed back toward 100 yen after strong manufacturing data in China and Europe pointed to an uptick in the global economy.

    Stocks in emerging economies also enjoyed small rises after a painful August that saw a huge global sell-off, while easing fears of an imminent strike on Syria helped push oil prices down further.

    Tokyo surged 2.99 percent, or 405.52 points, to close at 13,978.44 as the yen weakened against the dollar, while Hong Kong added 0.99 percent, or 219.24 points, to end at 22,394.58. Sydney closed 0.16 percent higher, adding 8.3 points, to 5,196.6 and Seoul rose 0.46 percent, or 8.93 points, to finish at 1,933.74. Shanghai was up 1.18 percent, or 24.66 points, at 2,123.11.

    US markets were closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

    September trade started strongly in Asia Monday after weekend figures showed China’s official purchasing managers index (PMI) of manufacturing activity came in at a 16-month high in August.

    The upbeat numbers add to recent figures indicating a painful slowdown in the world’s number two economy, a key driver of global growth, may be coming to an end.

    Figures by Markit Economics on Monday showed the PMI for the eurozone jumped to a 26-month high of 51.4 points in August from 50.3 in July. A figure above 50 indicates growth while anything below points to contraction.

    The European PMI also follows recent data that have raised hopes the region’s drawn-out recession may be in the past. London’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.45 percent, the DAX 30 in Frankfurt climbed 1.74 percent and the CAC 40 in Paris added 1.84 percent. Currency investors were confident enough to move into higher-yielding, higher-risk units, sending the yen lower.

    The dollar rose to 99.61 yen from 99.34 yen in London late Monday. The greenback dived below the 96-yen level last week because of jitters over Syria.

    AFP

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