Asia shares gain amid higher commodity prices, G20 (AP)

November 11, 2010

BANGKOK – Asian markets mostly climbed Thursday amid higher commodity prices and as President Barack Obama called on world leaders at the Group of 20 summit to work together to advance the economic recovery.

Oil jumped above $88 a barrel and prices for some metals were also higher. The dollar fell against the euro and gained against the yen.

Meetings of world leaders in South Korea on Thursday and Friday and in Japan on the weekend provided the background to trading.

Tensions over currencies and trade gaps are overhanging the Group of 20 and APEC summits as America’s move to flood its sluggish economy with $600 billion of cash and weaken the dollar triggers alarm in export-reliant nations from China to Germany.

Obama tried to defuse tensions, saying a strong U.S. economy would help the rest of the world and called on other leaders to work in concert to craft a new economic order to replace one powered by the U.S. running huge trade deficits while other countries accumulate vast surpluses.

Some analysts said there was speculation China would make concessions to allow its currency to rise at a faster pace, which could attract hot money to China’s markets as investors anticipate short-term gains in the value of Chinese assets from a rising yuan.

“When high officials from China and the U.S. meet, people expect something might happen to the Chinese currency — most likely that would mean appreciation, so that puts more speculation on fund flows into China,” said Jackson Wong, vice president at Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average gained 29.46 points, or 0.3 percent, to 9,861.98 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1 percent to 24,767.53.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 percent to 4,728.60, China’s Shanghai Composite Index climbed 1.4 percent to 3,159.59 and Singapore’s benchmark inched up 0.3 percent to 3,299.57.

Smaller Asian markets headed the other way with indexes down in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Among commodity stocks, Australian mining giant BHP Billiton was 1 percent higher and Japan’s Inpex gained 0.9 percent.

Asia’s advance followed slight gains in the U.S., where some investors were concerned about the international backlash against the Federal Reserve’s bond buying plan.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 10.29, or 0.1 percent, to close at 11,357.04. The Dow had been down as many as 92 points earlier in the day.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 5.31, or 0.4 percent, to 1,218.71, and the Nasdaq composite rose 15.80, or 0.6 percent, to 2,578.78.

In currencies, the dollar rose to 82.26 yen from 82.10 yen late Wednesday in New York. The euro climbed to $1.3790 versus $1.3782.

Benchmark oil for December delivery was up 50 cents at $88.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contact jumped $1.09 to settle at $87.81 on Wednesday.

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