Asian markets rise after US stocks gain on stronger profits, Chinese economic growth rebounds

BEIJING, China – Asian stocks rose Monday after U.S. markets gained on stronger corporate profits and China reported a rebound in economic growth in the latest quarter.

Oil edged up, staying above $100 after briefly dipping below that level last week for the first time in three months.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.8 per cent to 14,674.80 and China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 1.1 per cent to 2,218.55. Hong Kong, Seoul and Sydney also rose.

That came after U.S. stocks rose Friday on unexpectedly strong profits from General Electric Co., Morgan Stanley and other companies. Google surged nearly 14 per cent, topping $1,000 a share for the first time.

Investors appeared to put behind them concern over U.S. government finances after political leaders agreed to end a 16-day partial shutdown of official services. Congress agreed Wednesday to fund the government and allow it to borrow through early next year.

“If there are signs of an impending reversal then Asia is showing limited concern and markets are doing nicely today,” said strategist Chris Weston of Australia’s IG Markets in a report.

Also Friday, investors were encouraged by China’s report that economic growth accelerated to 7.8 per cent in the three months ended in September, up from the previous quarter’s 7.5 per cent.

That was despite warnings by some analysts that other indicators show the recovery, supported by government spending, might already be running out of steam.

“We expect headwinds on economic growth to strengthen,” said Morgan Stanley in a report.

“Growth momentum in domestic demand could ease further,” it said. “The lower-than-expected export growth is pointing to a bumpy and fragile external demand recovery.”

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 per cent to 23,479.08. Seoul fell 0.1 per cent to 2,049.81 and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 per cent to 5,353.80. New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta also gained.

In currency markets, the dollar gained 0.3 per cent to 97.95 yen. The euro shed just under 0.1 per cent to $1.3675.

Benchmark crude for November delivery edged up 2 cents to $100.83 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 14 cents on Friday to close at $100.81.