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Asian stocks rise on hopes for stimulus measures

Associated Press Modified: July 3, 2012 at 12:45 am •  Published: July 3, 2012

SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian stock markets rose Tuesday amid expectations policymakers will implement stimulus measures to help spur weak global growth.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6 percent to 9,057.24 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.9 percent to 1,868.01. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2 percent to 4,124 while China's Shanghai Composite advanced 0.7 percent to 2,240.49.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.6 percent to 19.744.20. Markets in Hong Kong were closed Monday to commemorate the hand-over of the territory to China in 1997.

Benchmark indexes in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia all rose.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in almost three years, highlighting concerns that the world's largest economy remains mired in weak economic growth.

Traders have begun to expect the European Central Bank to cut lending rates and the Bank of England to boost money in circulation at meetings later this week. There are also hopes that Japan and China will bolster the global policy response with stimulus measures of their own.

"The world economy has stumbled, with trade especially weakening into June," said Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research for HSBC in Hong Kong. "Monetary stimulus, possibly by the ECB this week in the form of a rate cut, and later this month by the Bank of Japan, are needed. Plus, in China, there's lots more the government can do to ratchet things up."

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