HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks rebounded Thursday on signs that a debt relief deal for Greece will go through and as an upbeat report on U.S. payrolls added to optimism about the world's biggest economy.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.5 percent to 9,720.79. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.9 percent to 20,813.48 and South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.7 percent to 1,997.32.
Growing investor participation in a massive Greek debt relief deal bolstered the mood in stock markets. By Wednesday night, investors owning around half of Greece's privately held debt had committed to a bond swap that would see them accept losses to avoid facing even bigger ones in case Athens defaults. Greece needs at least 67 percent of investors to sign up by Thursday night, so it can get a related euro130 billion ($171 billion) bailout from European countries and the International Monetary Fund.
"That really relieved the pressure," said Francis Lun, managing director of brokerage firm Lyncean Holdings Ltd. "Europe has been a presser cooker since the beginning of the year over the possible Greek default. Now, it's on verge the of being averted. I think we can all breathe a little bit easier."
A private monthly report on U.S. payrolls that estimated companies added 216,000 workers last month, beating expectations, also helped boost investor sentiment.
"Risk assets are set to benefit from the improved sentiment, though trading may still be cautious ahead of a slew of events later this week," including interest rate decisions by the European and British central banks and U.S. jobs data, strategists at Credit Agricole CIB wrote in a research note.
In mainland China, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 percent to 2,419.68 and Australia's ASX/S&P 200 was up 0.6 percent to 4,170.30. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and New Zealand also rose.
Apple Inc. suppliers got a boost after the company unveiled the latest version of its popular iPad. Contract electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. rose 2.2 percent in Taiwan.
On Wall Street on Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 0.6 percent at 12,837.33. The S&P 500 index gained 0.7 percent to close at 1,352.63. The Nasdaq composite index 0.9 percent to close at 2,935.69.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3166 from to $1.3150 late Wednesday in New York. The dollar rose to 81.25 Japanese yen from 81.19 yen.
Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 21 cents to $106.37 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose by $1.46 to end at $106.16 per barrel in New York.