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Nov 10, 2014 1:38 AM

Asian shares higher on China-Hong Kong stock link

The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) China and Hong Kong led gains in Asian stock markets Monday following the approval of a cross-border trading link that will give foreigners greater access to Chinese shares. Robust U.S. jobs figures and China trade data also buoyed buying sentiment.

KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.7 percent to 23,943.59 and China's Shanghai Composite was up 1.2 percent at 2,446.50. South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.0 percent to 2,446.50. But the yen unwinding some of its recent weakness helped drag Japan's Nikkei 225 0.7 percent lower to 16,763.00. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.5 percent to 5,524.00. Shares were higher in Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.

CONNECT LINK: The long-awaited approval for the Shanghai-Hong Kong stock trading link will give foreign investors more exposure to China's stock market. That potentially could draw in more buyers and boost shares which have languished since hitting a peak in 2006. Authorized investors in both cities will be allowed to buy and sell up to 23.5 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) of stocks in certain companies each day through the link. Mainland Chinese investors will get up to 10.5 billion yuan of that daily limit, while investors in Hong Kong get the rest. The link is expected to go live on Nov. 17.

THE QUOTE: The Hong Kong-Shanghai link "has prompted financial brokerage-related stocks higher, as investors feel optimistic about the prospect of global investors accessing Chinese stocks from Hong Kong," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia.

CHINA'S TRADE: China's trade growth decelerated in October, but the 11.6 percent rise in exports from a year earlier was still relatively robust. Imports also rose though the increase was below forecasts. After China's economic growth slowed to 7.3 percent in the third quarter there were renewed worries a deeper slowdown was looming.

U.S. JOBS: Upward revisions to past data and the overall growth in jobs helped compensate for an October employment figure that was slightly below expectations. But the jobless rate reading of 5.8 percent, compared with 7.2 percent a year earlier, has done little to dispel anxiety over slow wage growth, analysts say.

WALL STREET: U.S. markets eked out modest gains on Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 69.94 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,554.47. The S&P 500 gained 7.64 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 2,031.21 The Nasdaq composite gained 17.75 points, also 0.4 percent, to 4,638.47.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil was up 34 cents to $78.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It ended Friday up 74 cents at $78.65. Brent crude, used to price oil in international markets, gained 29 cents to $83.68.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 114.16 yen from 114.59 on Friday. The euro rose to $1.2480 from $1.2453 on Friday.


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