Second Greece bailout sends Asia stocks higher

July 22, 2011 - 12:15 AM
Wall Street

In this July 18, 2011 photo, specialist Donald Civitanova, right, directs trades at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks rallied further Wednesday, July 20, as a raft of positive U.S. earnings reports and signs of progress over raising the U.S. debt ceiling helped offset debt concerns afflicting Europe. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares rose Friday after European leaders agreed on a massive new bailout plan for Greece and broader measures to deal with the continent's debt problems.

All the region's major markets advanced, with banks in particular benefiting from the overnight developments.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average climbed 0.9 percent to 10,096.56, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shot up 1.7 percent to 22,365.90, and South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent to 2,160.34.

At an emergency meeting in Brussels, European officials agreed to give Greece a second rescue package worth euro109 billion ($155 billion). They also plan to lower interest rates and lengthen payback terms for loans to Greece, as well as those made to Ireland and Portugal.

The deal resolves a political deadlock between Europe's top economic authorities over how to save Greece that had investors worried the debt crisis would spin out of control.

European officials also gave new powers to the region's bailout fund, allowing it to provide credit to struggling countries before a crisis flares up. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said European officials want to tackle the "root" of the debt crisis.

In Tokyo, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. jumped 3.3 percent and rival Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. was up 3.2 percent.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 1.9 percent, and Shinhan Financial Group Co. climbed 1.5 percent in Seoul.

On Wall Street Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 152.50 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 12,724.41.

The broader S&P 500 index rose 17.96 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,343.80. The Nasdaq composite index rose 20.20 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,834.43.

In currencies, the dollar rose slightly to 78.58 yen from 78.52 yen late Thursday. The euro stood at $1.439 from $1.437.

Optimism about the Greek bailout deal drove oil prices toward $100 a barrel Friday in Asia.

Benchmark oil for September delivery was up 29 cents to $99.42 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude rose 73 cents to settle at $99.13 on Thursday.

In London, Brent crude rose 37 cents to $117.88 per barrel on the ICE Futures.