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Upbeat economic data in US and China boost Asian shares

Upbeat economic data in US and China boost Asian shares

Most Asian share markets moved higher on Monday after better-than-forecast growth in US jobs and Chinese exports boosted investor confidence.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.8% to 141 as of 10:10 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index advanced 1.9% and South Korea’s Kospi index added 1.03%. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index climbed 0.1%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.6%, dragged lower by QBE.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index gained 0.3% and Taiwan’s Taiex Index climbed 1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5% and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.14%.

Shares gained as US employers added 203,000 workers to nonfarm payrolls last month, more than the 185,000 increase predicted in a Bloomberg survey of economists, while the jobless rate fell to a five-year low of 7%.

In China, trade surplus widened to $33.8 billion in November, the biggest since January 2009, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Sunday in Beijing. China reports on inflation today.

Meanwhile, economic data showed Japanese gross domestic product increased 1.1% in the third quarter, less than economists had predicted.

Japanese exporters surged as the yen slid 0.1% to 103.04. Nissan Motor Co. rose 1.6% and Toyota Motor Corp., Asia’s largest carmaker, gained 1.1%. Canon Inc., a camera maker that gets 79% of sales outside Japan, rose 1.1%,

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. added 2% in Tokyo after SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. analysts advised buying shares in the bank.

QBE Insurance Group Ltd. tumbled 19% after Australia’s largest insurer by market value forecast an unexpected loss of about $250 million due to writedowns at its North American operations.
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