20 Feb '12, 5am

Asia stocks drive ahead on China, Greece moves

HONG KONG: Asian shares rose Monday, driven by a Chinese move at the weekend to loosen lending and hopes that debt-ridden Greece's bailout will at last be finalised. Tokyo shrugged off a record monthly trade deficit of 1.475 trillion yen to end the morning session with the Nikkei 225 up 1.37 percent or 128.76 points at 9,512.93, after opening above 9,500 for the first time in six months. The enormous Japanese deficit came as fuel imports rose to meet electricity generation needs while exports to Europe slumped, but was broadly in line with expectations. Hong Kong was up 0.70 percent or 150.99 points at 21,642.61, with Shanghai up 0.88 percent, or 20.78 points, at 2,377.96. Sydney rose 1.24 percent, or 52.2 points, at 4248.1, and Seoul was up 0.33 percent, or 6.65 points, at 2,030.12. Thailand reported a huge 10.7 percent quarter-on-quarter fall in GDP for the October-Decem...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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