Asian markets up after positive US, China data

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Asian markets rose Monday as dealers cheered an improvement in the US unemployment rate and another batch of figures indicating China’s economy is emerging from a long slowdown. Investors appeared unmoved by figures confirming. Japan’s economy shrank in the three months to September, as traders keep their sights on Sunday’s general election, which is expected to see Yoshihiko Noda’s government ousted. Tokyo rose 0.25 percent by the break, Hong Kong added 0.58 percent, Shanghai was 0.26 percent higher, Sydney gained 0.26 percent and Seoul climbed 0.13 percent. Washington on Friday unveiled figures showing the economy added 146,000 jobs in November, up from a revised 138,000 in October. Expectations had been for just 80,000 jobs to be added. The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent last month, its lowest since December 2008, from 7.9 percent in October. However, the data were tempered by a University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which declined to 74.5 from November’s five-year-high of 82.7. Traders are also nervous about the lack of progress on Capitol Hill in talks aimed at averting the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect on January 1 and which would likely tip the economy into recession.

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