Asian stock markets were mostly higher Tuesday as speculation that lukewarm U.S. economic indicators would keep the Federal Reserve from ending its stimulus program early offset pessimism about China’s economy. Major European markets opened slightly down.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, the region’s heavyweight index, jumped 1.8 percent to 14,098.74. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 2.6 percent at 4,834.00 after the country’s central bank left interest rates unchanged and said the Australian dollar is likely to continue falling, easing pressure on the economy.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up 0.9 percent to 3,170.10. Seoul’s Kospi was almost unchanged at 1,855.02.
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index reversed early losses to rise 0.6 percent to 2,006.56 after reports on Monday that Chinese manufacturing weakened in June amid a credit crunch. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7 percent to 20,658.65.