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World stocks up after successful Europe bond issue
World stocks rise after Spain, Italy hold successful bond issues
By The Associated Press

BANGKOK (AP) ' World stock markets rose Friday, driven higher by a successful bond issue in Europe that eased worries over the continent's sovereign debt crisis.

Benchmark oil rose to nearly $100 per barrel and the dollar fell against the euro and the yen.

European shares rose in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.6 percent to 5,694.38. Germany's DAX gained 0.7 percent to 6,221.96 and the CAC-40 in Paris gained 0.9 percent 3,229.17. Wall Street, too, was set to open higher, with Dow Jones industrial futures up 0.1 percent to 12,424. S&P 500 futures rose 0.1 percent at 1,293.

Asian shares were mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.4 percent to close at 8,500.02 and South Korea's Kospi index moved 0.6 percent at 1,875.68. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index vacillated before closing in positive territory, up 0.6 percent to 19,204.42.

Australia's S&P ASX 200 was 0.4 percent higher at 4,195.90. Benchmarks in Singapore, Indonesia, India and Malaysia also rose.

But mainland Chinese shares fell as investors continued to cash in on recent gains. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.3 percent to 2,244.58, while the Shenzhen Composite Index dropped 3.5 percent to 845.93.

"The market will be volatile for the next one or two weeks after this correction, since there is just no support for the market to rise in the long term," said Xu Xiaoyu, an analyst at China Investment Securities, based in Beijing.

PetroChina, the country's biggest oil and gas company and the Shanghai benchmark's biggest component, gained 1.4 percent as oil prices rose to near $100 a barrel in Asia on Friday on worries over supply tightness.

Elsewhere, raw materials and industrial companies advanced, following their U.S. counterparts higher. Japanese heavy equipment maker Komatsu Ltd. jumped 4.1 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery gained 3.8 percent.

Energy Resources of Australia soared 6 percent and Paladin Energy Ltd., an Australian uranium miner, gained 3.1 percent. But shares in Australia's QBE Insurance group dropped 3.1 percent, after the company warned its earnings could halve following a spate of natural disasters in 2011.

South Korean tech shares advanced, with Samsung Electronics Co., the country's largest company, up 1.8 percent and Hynix Semiconductor, a global leader in chip-making, surging 4.1 percent. Its largest banking group, Woori Financial Holdings Co., jumped 3.9 percent.

Strong bond auctions in Italy and Spain on Thursday pushed stocks higher. Italy was able to sell one-year bonds at a rate of just 2.735 percent, less than half the 5.95 percent rate it had to pay last month. Spain was able to raise double the amount of money it had sought to raise in its own bond sale as demand for its debt was strong.

Investors have been worried that Italy and Spain might get dragged into the region's debt crisis. Greece, Ireland and Portugal have been forced to get relief from their lenders after their borrowing costs spiked to levels the countries could no longer afford.

Benchmark oil for February delivery rose 78 cents to $99.88 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract tumbled $2 to finish at $99.10 per barrel in New York on Thursday.

In currency trading, the euro rose to $1.2843 from $1.2827 late Thursday in New York. The dollar was slightly down at 76.73 yen from 76.76 yen.


AP researcher Fu Ting contributed from Shanghai.

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