Forex Pros – Asian stock markets posted sharp gains in thin trade on Monday, as market sentiment was boosted after President Obama confirmed that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan. <br /> <br />During late Asian trade, South Korea's Kospi Composite rose 1.67%, Australia’s ASX/200 Index added 0.2%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index jumped 1.57%.<br /><br />Markets in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand were closed for holidays.<br /><br />President Obama announced late Sunday in an address from the White House that Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. operation in Pakistan, bringing to an end an almost ten-year manhunt that absorbed U.S. military and intelligence forces around the world.<br /><br />Meanwhile, the Nikkei hit a post-March 11 earthquake high as shares in Komatsu, the world’s second largest manufacturer of construction equipment climbed 2.95% after U.S. rival Caterpillar posted earnings that beat market expectations on Wall Street after markets closed on Friday.<br /><br />Printer-maker Seiko Epson saw shares surge 5.75% after it lifted its full-year earnings outlook by 66%, buoyed by increased demand from China, India and other Asian countries.<br /><br />Shares in Electric Power Development, Japan's largest power wholesaler, jumped 4% after it projected full-year net income will increase 33% to JPY26 billion.<br /><br />Also Monday, the world’s largest maker of plasma televisions Panasonic saw shares advance 2.8% after announcing plans to cut almost 17,000 jobs over the next two years as part of an overhaul to restore profitability. <br /><br />The outlook for European equity markets, meanwhile, was upbeat. The EURO STOXX 50 futures pointed to a gain of 0.75%, France’s CAC 40 futures rose 0.6%, the FTSE 100 futures pointed to a rise of 0.5%, while Germany's DAX futures indicated an increase of 0.55%. <br /><br />In the euro zone, markets were to remain closed for a public holiday. Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet was to speak in Frankfurt. Also Monday, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management was to publish its manufacturing PMI.<br /><br /><br />
updated May 02, 2011
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