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Asian stocks gain ground in early trade; Nikkei lifted 1.5%

During early Asian trade, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index advanced 1.5% to 8,764.90, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.8% to 4,202.60, and South Korea's Kospi Index picked up 1.5% to 1,781.53.

Along with the Nikkei, the broader-based Topix Index of all issues listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange picked up 1.3% to 751.83.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index bucked the regional trend, falling 2% to 19,466.80,

Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that core durable goods orders jumped by a seasonally adjusted 4% in July, after rising 0.6% the previous month.

Market expectation were for orders of U.S. durable goods to fall by 0.4% last month.

Orders for automobiles in July surged 11.5%, the largest gain in eight years. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders rose 0.7%.

The encouraging numbers, following on the heels of recent disappointing data this month helped to give a lift to Wall Street shares, which tagged on a third consecutive day of gains.

By the end of Wednesday trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.3%, the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.9%, and the S&P 500 was lifted 1.3%.

Korean automakers moved higher for a second day, on hopes of increased demand for exports. Hyundai Motor Co. rose sharply by 3.8%, and Kia Motors Corp. soared 19% following word that management and the labor union had reached a tentative wage agreement, averting a strike for the third consecutive year.

Japanese car manufacturers also posted strong early session gains, with Toyota Motor Co. up 1.1%, Honda Motor Co. adding 2.6%, and Nissan Motor Co. up 3.3%.

Japanese Apple Inc. distributor Softbank Corp. slid 0.25%, lagging behind other high-tech shares in Tokyo, following the announcement that Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, would resign as the company's chief executive.

The outlook for European stocks was pessimistic . France's CAC 40 futures was lower by 0.07% to 3,144.40, Britain's FTSE 100 futures fell 0.16% to 5,217.80, while Germany's DAX futures declined 0.15% to 5,696.20.

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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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