4 May 2009

Asia- Pacific stocks higher

9:45 pm on 4 May 2009

Markets across Asia and the Pacific closed higher on Monday.

Asian stocks reached to a seven-month peak, fuelled by confidence the global economy is recovering faster than expected and a further jump in Taiwanese shares on hopes for an influx of Chinese investment.

Taiwan's benchmark TAIEX index soared 5.6%, taking gains to 12.8% in just two days as investors see a a wide-reaching deal coming later in the year that would spur heavy Chinese investment in the island, especially in financial firms.

The surge in Taiwan added to the broad gains across Asia as evidence has mounted that global trade is starting to pick up.

Investors have largely brushed aside worries that the global H1N1 flu outbreak could turn into a serious pandemic.

Hong Kong share prices closed 5.54% higher. The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 860.06 points to close at 16,381.05.

The Australian share market finished about 3% higher and at its best level in seven weeks as resources stocks gained on the back of higher commodities prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up 113.4 points, or 3.01%, at 3883, while the broader All Ordinaries increased 108.1 points, or 2.89%, to 3846.

In New Zealand, the benchmark index was up 46 points, or 1.7%, at 2766 on turnover of $70 million.

Infrastructure investor Infratil was up 2 cents to $1.60, while Telecom rose 11c cents to $2.74.

Fletcher Building rose 16c to $6.90, while Auckland Airport was up 3c to $1.69.