Asian markets rose Friday. In Hong Kong the Hang Seng Index gained 1.2% to close at 23,409 and in China the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.4% to 2,942. Japan's's Nikkei 225 Index added 1% to end the week at 10,694.

A fall in U.S. applications for unemployment benefits sparked a buying spree in Asia. According to figures released by the Labor Department, 20,000 fewer people applied for jobless benefits last week bringing the number of folks receiving unemployment checks to the lowest level since the fall of 2008, according to Bloomberg.

In Hong Kong, shares of shoe and clothing exporters shot up with Yue Yuen Holdings, which makes athletic shoes for the likes of Adidas, Nike and Puma surged 4.5% and Li & Fung, distributor of Asian-made clothing and toys climbed 4.4%. Esprit, maker of trendy clothes popular in Europe and the U.S. advanced 2.7%.

Foxconn, the Hong Kong subsidiary of Taiwanese Hon Hai, which is contracted to make mobile phones and gadgets like the iPhone and iPad, gained 1.5%, following yesterday's unveiling of Apple's (AAPL) iPad 2. Meanwhile, Chinese Internet and telecom firms climbed higher. Tencent scored a 4.4% rise on the tails of an announcement that Groupon, the U.S. based deals website, will team up with Tencent to offer group-buying services in Beijing and Shanghai, according to the Wall Street Journal -- a great business plan considering the Chinese appetite for bargain shopping. Hutchison Communications surged 3.2% and China Mobile advanced 1.2%.

In China, building-related stocks rallied in anticipation of tomorrow's National People's Congress meetings to discuss economic development including plans to add 36 million affordable homes over the next five years. Baoshan Iron & Steel climbed 2% and Hebei Iron & Steel gained 1.8%. Cement makers, which provide materials for China's signature concrete slab apartment blocks, advanced, with Anhui Conch rising 3% and Sany Heavy Industry jumping 1.8%. Today Maanshan Iron & Steel shot up 7.7%, also helped by the news that it will ramp up production of wheels for China's high-speed rail cars.

In Japan car companies got a boost from the positive U.S. jobless figures, as well as a weaker yen, translating into higher earnings once overseas earnings are repatriated and converted into the local currency. Mazda motored up 3.5%, Isuzu jumped 1.4%, Nissan advanced 1.3% and Toyota gained 1.2%. Honda declined 0.1%.

Sumitomo Electric Industries catapulted up 8.1% after reports circulated that it has developed an electric car battery that should cost only 10% of the price of the current lithium ion batteries. The batteries, which use molten-salt as electroytes and could be available in 2015, were developed with help from Kyoto University, reports greencarcongress.com.

Japanese electronics exporters were also among today's gainers with Konica Minolta climbing 4.2%, Canon surging 1.8% and Sony advancing 1.2%.

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Gjfgj

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September 05 2011 at 7:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gjfgj

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Tshirts (Polo ,ED Hardy,Lacoste) $16 ~~~~

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September 05 2011 at 7:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
qiuqinsdfsd

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March 13 2011 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
qiuxiangsdfd

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March 13 2011 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
qiuxiangsdfd

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Jean (True Religion,ED Hardy,Coogi) $30 ~~~~

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March 13 2011 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
amfnvf

When American labor gets as cheap as foriegn labor then you will see factories and jobs here.That is the plan.

March 06 2011 at 8:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
scottee

jobs will not come back until the government gets really smaller, taxes get really simpler and fairer and markets are free. ............ as long as there is a trillion dollar national debt, as long as The Fed is printing and diluting our dollar and manipulating stock prices, gold prices and interest rates, and as long as both parties in Congress are social engineering via the tax code, things will not...cannot improve....it's that simple!

March 05 2011 at 7:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cferrin104

Great great great news - America is coming back

March 04 2011 at 9:06 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cferrin104's comment
almagayle50

Unemployment went down? Did welfare rolls go up because people exhausted all benefits? Is the class of 2010 still at home with their parents. Will the class of 2011 join them soon. Department store sales continue to go up because they have perpetual sales with free shipping. Are they profitable equal to pre-recession. If happy days are here again is the government (state and federal) going to unfreeze pay? Are they going to hire soon? Will getting into another war in Libya help our deficit? We must be getting discount rates on military equipment by now between Iraq, Afganistan, and now Libya.

March 04 2011 at 8:20 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply