Asian Markets Rise on U.S. Jobs Report

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Shares in Asia closed higher Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed 2.1% to 10,586 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 2% to 21,197. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.7%, ending the day at 3,053.

Things are looking up in Japan, where confidence among Japanese merchants is rising, according to a survey of merchants, says Bloomberg. This, added to last weeks announcement that wages were on the rise along with overtime hours, and an increase in new jobs sent shares in consumer product stocks rising. Department stores rose with the elegant Takashimaya, surging 4.4% and utilitarian UNY gained 2.7%. J. Front Retailing, a holding company that runs businesses from supermarkets to furniture manufacturing firms, surged 3.6% and Marui Group, which owns Tokyo department stores, advanced 1.9%.

Japanese exporters rose today as Friday's U.S. Department of Labor employment stats revealed fewer-than-expected job cuts in the U.S., hinting at prospects for better sales abroad. A weaker yen also boosted income from sales made overseas. Sharp surged 3.8%, Sony climbed 2.8% and Casio Computer added 2.2%. Camera maker Konica Minolta rose 2.5% and Canon gained 2.3% .

Advertising agency Dentsu soared 6% in today's trading after reporting a huge rise in revenues for February. The company handles advertising campaigns and also plans events for companies around the world.

In Hong Kong, Li & Fung surged 4.2% on the hopes that the global recovery is here to stay. The clothing and toy distributor, which sources products from factories all around Asia, provides goods for U.S. mainstays from Walmart to Abercrombie.

Foxconn International, which makes nearly a third of its revenue from U.S. sales, skyrocketed 5% in today's trading. The super-secretive company, which is part of Taiwanese Hon Hai, reportedly makes loads of Apple products including iPods, iPads and iPhones. It also makes components for competing game consoles, the Wii, PS3 and Xbox.

Chinese mining companies rose today with Baoshan Iron & Steel rising 2.9%, Maanshan Iron & Steel gaining 0.7% and Zijin Mining adding 0.6%. Energy producers were also on the rise with China Shenhua Energy climbing 1.3% and China Coal Energy up 0.6%.

Chinese property companies added value as comments from Beijing increased hopes that regulators won't take any drastic measures to cool the property market. Gemdale surged 4%, Poly Real Estate advanced 1.6% and China Vanke inched up 0.3%. While this may be good news for investors, it's not so good for those struggling to buy a home for the first time.

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