Asian stock markets advance, courtesy Wall Street gains

TOKYO: Asian share indexes advanced Friday, guided by Wall Street gains and healthy quarterly economic data from Japan.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1 percent to 22,741.23 and South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.2 percent to 2,466.71. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.6 percent to 28,480.70 and the Shanghai Composite in mainland China added 0.3 percent to 3,280.13. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.3 percent to 5,993.60.

JAPAN DATA: Government data showed Asia’s second-largest economy expanded at an annualized 2.5 percent in the third quarter. That’s an improvement on an earlier estimate, reflecting stronger than expected business investment and rising inventories, while demand perked up. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was expected later Friday to outline plans for longer-term efforts to shore up growth and productivity.

US SHUTDOWN: Congress passed a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown over the weekend. The move keeps the government running until Dec. 22, buying more time for unfinished talks on a range of issues and averting market risks for investors for the day.

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WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks perked higher following a weeklong lull. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 2,636.98, the Dow Jones industrials average rose 0.3 percent to 24,211.48 and the Nasdaq composite gained 0.5 percent to 6,812.84

ENERGY: Oil futures retreated. Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 7 cents to $56.62 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 73 cents to settle at $56.69 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, rose lost 8 cents to $62.12 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 113.36 Japanese yen from 113.10 yen late Thursday. The euro dipped to $1.766 from $1.1774.

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