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Asia Stocks Up Ahead of US Growth Data 07/30 06:46

   Asian stocks rose Wednesday ahead of U.S. economic data and as cheery 
earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. countered a 
lower close on Wall Street.

   TOKYO (AP) --- Asian stocks rose Wednesday ahead of U.S. economic data and 
as cheery earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. 
countered a lower close on Wall Street.

   KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 recouped losses at the open to rise 0.3 
percent to 15,662.84 in morning trading. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong gained 0.8 
percent to 24,825.00. South Korea's Kospi added 0.9 percent to 2,079.40. 
Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.7 percent to 5,627.30.

   HAPPY HONDA: Honda shares added 3 percent after a strong quarterly earnings 
report Tuesday, released after Tokyo stock trading closed, which prompted the 
Japanese automaker to raise its full year projections. The cheap yen is working 
as a plus for export manufacturers such as Honda, which are expanding sales in 
China and other emerging markets.

   ANALYST TAKE: "A weaker US close and news of further sanctions against 
Russia is likely to limit early buying support for stocks this morning," says 
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. Still, investors are likely 
to hold on to stocks, rather than taking any major action, despite news of more 
sanctions against Russia, he said. President Barack Obama has announced 
expanded sanctions against Russia in response to the downing of a Malaysian 
airliner over an area of Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

   US DATA: Markets are looking ahead to key data being released later this 
week. U.S. gross domestic product figures for the April-June quarter, scheduled 
for Wednesday, are among the most important. Federal Reserve policymakers also 
conclude a two-day meeting later in the day. The next day, there's a report on 
China's manufacturing industry, a key sign for regional growth. On Friday, the 
U.S. Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report.

   CURRENCIES, OIL: The euro was little changed at $1.3412 from $1.3411 late 
Tuesday. The dollar was higher at 102.08 yen from 102.10. Benchmark U.S. crude 
for September delivery was down 2 cents to $100.95 a barrel.

   WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average fell 70.48 points, or 0.4 
percent, to finish at 16,912.11 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 slipped 
8.96 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,969.95. The Nasdaq shed 2.21 points, or 0.1 
percent, to 4,442.70. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell. Only 
telecommunications stocks rose.


(KA)


 
 
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