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Asian Markets Rebound on Positive US Data

VOA News
Asian markets were rebounding Thursday following the release of encouraging news about the United States economy.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 1.8 percent in midday trading, while China's Shanghai Composite rose 1 percent. Most other Asian markets also saw gains.

Asia was following the lead of Wall Street, which rallied Wednesday after a pair of reports showed the U.S. job market improving.

The U.S. Labor Department said the number of Americans signing up for unemployment compensation last week dropped by 5,000. Another report by the payroll service company ADP said the number of jobs created in the U.S. economy rose by tens of thousands in June.

The data was apparently enough to ease investor's concerns about continued Egyptian political unrest and uncertainty over the fate of the Portuguese ruling coalition.

Global oil prices hit a 14-month high Wednesday. Investors are worried that the political crisis in Egypt could affect Middle East oil shipments through the Suez Canal, a key transit point.

European traders were especially worried about the political uncertainty in debt-ridden Portugal, after two key government ministers resigned this week in protest of Lisbon's austerity measures endorsed by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

Aside from the new turmoil, the global economy has been hampered by a slow economic recovery in China, the world's second largest economy, and a recession in Europe. Investors are also nervous about what a key U.S. jobs report due out Friday will show.

A survey showed that growth in China's services sector, an industry of growing importance in the country, fell in June to its slowest pace in nine months.

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