Asian markets up as gloom dissipates
BANGKOK (AP) — Asia-Pacific markets rebounded in early trading Wednesday, as traders looked past some bleak U.S. jobs data and Europe's debt crisis to scoop up bargains.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index, which on Tuesday fell to its lowest level since April 2009, rose 1.6 percent to 8,723.85. A slightly lower yen helped Japan's powerhouse export sector recover from the beating it took earlier this week.
Mazda Motor Corp. jumped 3.4 percent, and Sony Corp. gained 3 percent.
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index gained 2 percent at 4,156.30. New Zealand's NZX 50 was 0.7 percent higher at 3,292.09. South Korea's Kospi clawed back losses to rise 2.8 percent at 1,815.64.
A wave of negative sentiment slammed global stock markets last Friday, when a government report said the U.S. economy failed to add any new jobs in August. It was the worst reading on jobs since September 2010.
But signs of growth in the U.S. service sector helped tame concerns about another U.S. recession. The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that the service sector grew more than analysts had expected in August.
Growth in that part of the economy, which employs nearly 90 percent of America's work force, fell the three previous months.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.9 percent to 11,139.30. The Standard and Poor's 500 index dropped 0.7 percent to 1,165.24. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.2 percent to 2,473.83.
Separately on Tuesday, the Swiss franc dropped sharply after the country's central bank pegged it against the euro in an attempt to rein in the export-sapping appreciation of the currency.
The franc has been hugely in demand in recent weeks due to its widely perceived status as a safe haven during times of market volatility. Gold, another safe haven, has also been hitting regular all-time highs.