Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

Asian shares start 2009 strongly

Women in Kimono smile at a ceremony to open the Tokyo Stock Exchange on 5 January
Women in Kimono attended the ceremony to open the Tokyo exchange

Asian shares have had a strong day as hopes grew for fresh measures aimed at stimulating the global economy.

Japan's shares ended their first session of 2009 up 2.1% - its highest daily gain for nearly two months.

Honda and other exporters climbed on a weaker yen. Resource-linked firms surged as oil prices rose more than 3%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 3.5% while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.3% as the Chinese government promised fresh measures to stimulate growth.

Sentiment was also helped by comments from the staff of US president-elect Barack Obama about the potential size of a fresh economic stimulus package.

Upbeat trading

The Tokyo market had its worst year on record in 2008, with the Nikkei 225 losing 42% of its value as global financial woes and a soaring yen fuelled last year's losses.

The Nikkei climbed 183.6 points, or 2.1%, on Monday to finish the half-day of trading at 9,043.12, its first time above the 9,000 level since 11 November.

The broader Topix rose 1.9% to 875.91.

China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 59.9 points, to close at 1,880.7, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 520.5 points to finish at 15,563.31.

"Sentiment was upbeat as investors were hopeful over US economic stimulus measures" under incoming President-elect Barack Obama, said Yutaka Miura, senior strategist at Shinko Securities.

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FTSE 100
23.70 0.44%
19.54 0.34%
Cac 40
14.48 0.38%
Dow Jones
78.53 0.76%
35.31 1.58%
BBC Global 30
20.65 0.36%
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