Asian Markets Rise as Japan Exceeds GDP Expectations

Posted August 15th, 2011 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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Asian stock markets rose Monday, riding a global market rally and buoyed by news that Japan’s earthquake-battered economy shrank less than expected in the April to June period.

Japan’s gross domestic product contracted 0.3 percent over the three months as manufacturers struggled with the effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. But that was better than the 0.9 percent dip in the January to March period, and considerably better than market analysts had estimated.

Japan’s Nikkei stock index closed up nearly 1.4 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up more than three percent at closing. Most other Asian exchanges rose between 1 and 2 percent.

Global markets fluctuated wildly last week as investors, already rattled by Europe’s worsening debt crisis, reacted to the downgrading of U.S. government debt and concerns that the U.S. might be headed toward another recession.