Asian markets higher after Wall St records

Asian markets higher after Wall St records

HONG KONG - Asian markets extended gains on Tuesday following another record-breaking close on Wall Street, with Japan's Nikkei tapping a six-year closing high as the dollar renewed its upward trend against the yen.

Chinese shares enjoyed a second day of buying, although there are still lingering fears about a liquidity crisis despite a cash injection from the country's central bank.

Tokyo added 0.12 per cent, or 18.91 points, to 15,889.33, its highest finish since December 2007.

Hong Kong rose 1.13 per cent, or 257.99 points to 23,179.55, Sydney closed 0.67 per cent, or 35.3 points, higher at 5,327.2 and Seoul was 0.24 per cent higher, adding 4.70 points to 2,001.59.

Shanghai ended 0.15 per cent higher, advancing 3.20 points to 2,092.91. Manila was closed for a public holiday.

On Wall Street the Dow and S&P 500 closed Monday at all-time highs yet again after fresh Commerce Department data pointed to a 0.5 per cent increase in consumer spending in November, the second month in a row to see a rise.

An estimate of consumer confidence by the University of Michigan also showed an improvement in December.

The news added to a run of recent figures showing a pick-up in the US economy - including data on unemployment and economic growth - indicating it is well on the road to recovery.

And last week the Federal Reserve gave it a vote of confidence as it said it would from next month reduce its stimulus programme by $10 billion to $75 billion a month.

The Dow rose 0.45 per cent to 16,294.61, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.53 per cent to 1,827.99. The Nasdaq added 1.08 per cent to end at 4,148.90.

The dollar continued to benefit from the positive news out of Washington. In afternoon Asian trade it was at 104.26 yen compared with 104.11 yen in New York. The greenback is approaching the five-year high of 104.63 yen touched last week.

The euro bought $1.3682 and 142.61 yen against $1.3695 and 142.58 yen.

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