Asian Stocks Rise After Koreas, U.S., Make Diplomatic Overtures

TOKYO (AP) -
A currency trader walks by the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), (L), and the foreign exchange rate between U.S. dollar and South Korean won at the foreign exchange dealing room in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Asian shares rose Tuesday as both Koreas and the U.S. appeared to indicate a willingness to defuse the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program. A rally on Wall Street, on the back of strong technology shares, also helped.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.3 percent to 19,789.13 in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.5 percent to 5,757.50. South Korea’s markets were closed for a national holiday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 27,308.04, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.2 percent at 3,242.26.

North Korea said Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un was briefed on his military’s plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam. But the comments also appeared to signal a path to defuse the deepening crisis with Washington, holding out the possibility that friction could ease if the U.S. made some gesture that Pyongyang considered a move to back away from previous “extremely dangerous reckless actions.”

The S&P 500 jumped 24.52 points, or 1 percent, to 2,465.84. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 135.39 points, or 0.6 percent, to 21,993.71. The Nasdaq composite added 83.68 points, or 1.3 percent, to 6,340.23.

“The markets continue to recover from last week’s disorder as U.S. equities orchestrated a splendid showing recouping some of the sharp losses from last Friday, as investor confidence returns with the de-escalation of North Korea tension,” says Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia at OANDA.

U.S. crude oil added 2 cents to $47.61 a barrel. It lost $1.23 to $47.59 a barrel in New York Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, rose 4 cents to $50.77 a barrel in London.

The dollar rose to 110.40 yen from 109.57 yen late Monday in Asia. The euro fell to $1.1756 from $1.1816.