Japan stocks up while Australian shares end flat

<p>Most of the Asian markets were up or relatively flat today with the Japanese Nikkei Index up more than 1 per cent. The Hong Kong […]</p>

Most of the Asian markets were up or relatively flat today with the Japanese Nikkei Index up more than 1 per cent. The Hong Kong market was closed for public holiday.

Japanese stocks rose on the back of positive lead from Wall Street over the weekend, with U.S. companies reporting better than expected earnings. The news of Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden death seems to have a muted effect on the market with no dramatic rise or fall in any of the markets today.

“The death of bin Laden eases some concern, but its’ hard to imagine it’ll lead to a reduction of risk in the Middle East and so the market’s reaction may be transitory”, said Koichiro Nishio, a market analyst in Tokyo at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. “The recovery of demand in the U.S. and other developed countries means a better environment for earnings”.

Toyota Motor Corp, threle world’s largest carmaker, and Sony Corp, Japan’s biggest electronics exporter, advanced at least 2%. Komatsu Ltd, the world’s No. 2 manufacturer of construction equipment, gained 2.8% after rival Caterpillar Inc. Posted earnings that beat estimates.

In Australia, the All Ords Index was in negative territory for most of the day and finished flat while the Australian dollar held on to its 1.0900 level. Mining and resources stocks pushed the overall equity index for most of the day.

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