BANGKOK (AP) - Asian stock markets rose today, brushing off tepid Japanese manufacturing data after the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at another all-time high.
Better-than-expected pending homes sales for March renewed faith in the U.S. economic recovery. The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes reached the highest level in three years. Wages and spending in the U.S. also rose last month. European shares finished higher yesterday after Italy formed a new coalition government.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.9 percent to 22,774.96. South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.3 percent to 1,966.27. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 1.1 percent to 5,183.10. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand and the Philippines also advanced.
Jackson Wong, vice president of Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong, says the United States, quote, "is hitting new highs almost every day now and improved sentiment in the eurozone is helping overall markets across the board."