Asian stocks rise after positive US reports

A pair of positive US economic reports helped prod Asian stock markets higher today.

A report showed US service companies grew last month at the fastest pace in six months.

A separate report said American companies engaged in a modest amount of hiring in September.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.3% to 8,773.02. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.1% to 20,917.56.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1% to 4,444.10.

Some investors remained cautious due to events in Spain. Premier Mariano Rajoy denied this week that his government was about to ask for financial aid as it seeks to get a grip on its public finances.

Spain is under pressure to ask for financial assistance from the European Central Bank to keep a lid on its borrowing costs but the government has been reluctant to do so because it may come with conditions on its budget.

Germany is also pushing Madrid to delay such a move because the government in Berlin is wary of presenting yet another rescue plan for a vote in parliament.

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