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Asian stocks climb on U.S. budget hopes

Asian stocks climb on U.S. budget hopes

Asian markets gained in the first session of 2013 on Tuesday as U.S. Republican lawmakers gave up opposition to a budget compromise and Japan’s yen weakened.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index climbed 1.6% as of 11:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, heading for its highest close since August 2011. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1.2% and South Korea’s Kospi Index added 1.4%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 1.8% while a gauge of Chinese companies listed in the city increased 2.1%.

Equity markets in Japan and mainland China are closed today and tomorrow for public holidays.

House Republicans abandoned their effort to add spending cuts to the Senate’s budget legislation amid hopes the measure will be passed tonight.

In Asia, China will work towards bolstering global growth this year, President Hu Jintao said in a New Year’s Eve address. While South Korean manufacturing expanded for the first time since May in December, a private survey showed today.

Techtronic Industries Co., a maker of power tools that counts North America as its biggest market, rose 2.9% in Hong Kong. BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, advanced 1.6% in Sydney, leading gains among raw-material producers.
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