Asian shares gain in follow-on to Wall Street, Nikkei leads

Shutterstock photo - - Stocks in Japan posted a sixth straight gain in trading early Thursday with sentiment lifted by a weaker yen.

The Nikkei 225 rose 0.5%, following big gains earlier in the week after the Bank of Japan unveiled additional easing measures last Friday in an aim to boost economic growth.

Minutes from the BoJ's October board meeting that sowed concern about the ability to meet the 2% sustained inflation target by fiscal 2015, also bolstered shares.

Toyota Motor Corp Ltd Ord (TOKYO:7203) was up 1.1% after the auto maker said it expects record profit in its current fiscal year, buoyed by a weaker yen that helps exports and a model lineup that is steaming ahead in the U.S.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.2%, after oil prices rebounded overnight and snapped a four-session losing streak. Crude-oil futures rose 1.9% to $78.68 a barrel.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose after investors applauded an upbeat private-sector jobs report as well as a Republican victory in Tuesday's elections, which gave the party control of both houses of Congress.

The Dow 30 rose 0.58%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.57%, while the NASDAQ Composite index fell 0.06%.

Payroll processing firm Automatic Data Processing Inc (NASDAQ:ADP) reported earlier that non-farm private employment rose by 230,000 last month, beating expectations for an increase of 220,000.

The economy created 225,000 jobs in September, whose figure was upwardly revised from a previously reported 213,000.

While not always as a reliable predecessor for the government's official jobs report, the latest due out on Friday, Nov. 7, the ADP report does offer guidance on private-sector hiring, and Wednesday's report drew applause on Wall Street amid hopes for continued U.S. recovery.

Elsewhere, the Institute of Supply Management reported that its non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 57.1 in October from a 58.6 in September. Analysts had expected the index to inch down to 58.0 in October.

Still, a reading over 50 indicates the service-sector economy is generally expanding, while below 50.0 indicates the sector is contracting, which boosted stocks as well.

In other news, U.S. Republicans took control of the Senate, which gave them control of both houses of Congress.

The results drew applause on perceptions that a divided government with a Democratic White House and a Republican Congress historically tends to see upbeat stock markets in the U.S.

On Thursday, markets will track weekly initial jobless claims data. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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