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World stocks up as tanking dollar boosts oil, gold

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[October 14, 2009]  HONG KONG (AP) -- Global stock markets rose Wednesday as China's economy showed more signs of recovery and oil prices touched a new high for the year above $75 a barrel.

InsuranceHelping lead Asia's advance were shares in major technology companies after U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp. issued a surprisingly cheery profit forecast for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, the dollar resumed its slide, falling to a 14-month low against the euro and pushing prices for commodities like oil and gold ever higher.

Investors in Asia were heartened by news the slump in China's exports eased in September, a sign global trade was improving and aiding the government's efforts to engineer a stronger turnaround in the world's third-largest economy.

Combined with huge amounts of easy money freed up by governments to rebuild their economies and companies, growth in China has helped drive the region's markets in the last six months and could continue to do so, analysts said.

"The writing is on the wall: China's economy is recovering," said Henry Chan, Hong Kong-based head of Asian equities at Baring Asset Management, which oversees more than $9 billion in assets. "And when there's so much liquidity in the system it will have to go somewhere, and I think Asia's markets will go higher."

European markets followed Asia's gains, with major indexes in Britian, Germany and France all adding around 1.1 percent in early trade. Wall Street futures pointed to a higher open in the U.S., where JPMorgan Chase & Corp. was to report earnings Wednesday. Dow futures rose 77, or 0.8 percent, to 9,886.

Earlier in Asia, China's Shanghai index jumped 34.34 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,970.53, boosted further by expectations for better corporate earnings for the third quarter. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 419.12 points, or 2 percent, to 21,886.48.

Japan's market was the region's only major laggard with the Nikkei 225 stock average shedding 0.2 percent to 10,060.21 amid a stronger yen, which hurts exporters.

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Elsewhere, Australia's market gained 1 percent, India's benchmark added 1.2 percent and Taiwan's key index advanced 1.3 percent.

The slumping dollar sent commodities -- which are largely priced in dollars and therefore tend to rise when the U.S. currency falls -- surging once again. Gold traded near an all-time high around $1,070.

Oil blew past its previous 2009 high of $75, hitting $75.15 before trading back down again. A barrel of crude for November delivery was up 72 cents to $74.87 late afternoon in Asia. The contract added 88 cents overnight.

On Wall Street Tuesday, the Dow fell 14.74, or 0.2 percent, to 9,871.06.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 3.00, or 0.3 percent, to 1,073.19, its first loss after six days of gains. The Nasdaq rose 0.75, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,139.89.

The dollar tanked to 89.10 yen from 89.69 yen. The euro climbed to $1.4897 from $1.4852.

[Associated Press; By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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