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Asia stocks rise on positive start to US earnings

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 9, 2013 at 11:24 pm •  Published: January 9, 2013

A weakening yen helped propel Japan's export-reliant carmakers higher. Mazda Motor Corp. soared 9 percent. Honda Motor Co. gained 2.6 percent. Isuzu Motors Ltd. rose 3.8 percent. Japanese steelmakers also posted solid gains. JFE Holdings jumped 5.8 percent and Kobe Steel added 6.7 percent.

Hong Kong-listed Aluminum Corp. of China surged 8.1 percent a day after U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa forecast demand would grow 7 percent in 2013, up from a 6 percent gain in 2012.

Later Thursday, the European Central Bank will meet to set monetary policy for the 17 countries that use the euro. It is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the record low of 0.75 percent even though the eurozone economy as a whole is back in recession. Investors are also awaiting the release in the U.S. of weekly jobless claims.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.5 percent to close at 13,390.51 on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.3 percent to 1,461.02. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.5 percent to 3,105.81.

Benchmark crude oil contract for February delivery was up 36 cents to $93.46 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 5 cents to close at $93.10 per barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3043 from $1.3053 while the dollar rose to 88.08 yen from 87.75 yen.


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