Asia stocks rise as Europe meltdown fears recede
BANGKOK—Hopes that European leaders are considering new, radical proposals to extricate the region from its debt crisis pushed Asian stocks higher Tuesday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9 percent to 8,362.71. South Korea's Kospi gained 1.5 percent to 1,843.08 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.4 percent to 18,101.68. Benchmarks in mainland China and Taiwan were also higher while Singapore, Malaysia and Australia fell.
Fears that the 17 nations that use the euro common currency are heading toward a catastrophic financial meltdown eased Monday after reports surfaced that Europe's leaders were considering extreme steps once deemed taboo -- such as having nations cede control over their budgets to a central European authority.
Another plan calls for Europe's most stable economies like Germany, France and Austria to jointly sell bonds to provide assistance to the region's most indebted members.
World stock markets, glimpsing hope that Europe might finally be shocked into stronger action, staged a big rally Monday. France's CAC-40 jumped 5.5 percent. Indexes in Germany and Italy rose 4.6 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 291 points, or 2.6 percent -- its biggest gain in a month -- to close at 11,523.01. The S&P 500 rose 2.9 percent to 1,192.55. The Nasdaq composite rose 3.5 percent to 2,527.34.
Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 64 cents to $97.57 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.44 to settle $98.21 on Monday.
In currency trading, the euro rose to $1.3317 from $1.3306 late Monday in New York. The dollar rose to 78.19 yen from 77.99 yen.