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Asian shares advance on US jobs market recovery

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[April 20, 2010]  SINGAPORE (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday after an encouraging U.S. jobs report offered the latest sign the global economy is on the mend.

HardwareJapan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.5 percent to 11,339.30, Singapore's benchmark index also increased 0.5 percent, Indonesia jumped 1.7 percent and India gained 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi index added 0.1 percent to 1,724.99 while Thailand dropped 0.4 percent.

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March, the largest job gain in three years. The unemployment rate stayed at 9.7 percent for the third straight month.

"The U.S. recovery is showing new strength," said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor for MasterCard Worldwide in Singapore. "Demand for Asian exports is stabilizing and has recovered from last year's trough. Domestic demand in Asia is also rising steadily."

The Dow Jones industrials rose 0.7 percent to 10,927.07 on Thursday, a new high for the year. Wall Street was closed for Good Friday, as were other major markets around the world.

Trading volume in Asia was light as many markets were closed Monday, including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

In currencies, the euro was steady at $1.3481 on Monday while the dollar slid to 94.52 yen.

Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 30 cents to $85.17 a barrel on Monday.

[Associated Press; By ALEX KENNEDY]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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