Asian stock markets push higher after Europeand US markets gain; Tokyo up 1 pct

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks advanced Friday, following overseas markets higher as signs the U.S. economy was healing and debt-ridden Greece might soon be rescued eased anxiety about the global outlook.

The broad move higher in Asia marked a turnaround after several days of losses. The dollar was little changed against the euro and the yen, and oil prices traded above $85 a barrel.

Helping sentiment was an overnight rise in the U.S., where a series of upbeat earnings reports and a reading on unemployment gave investors reason to hope a rebound in the world's largest economy, a key Asian export market, was sustainable.

At the same time, investors seemed less agitated about Europe's debt problems. European leaders sought to reassure the world Thursday they were working quickly to approve a bailout for Greece so it can make good on its debt payments, one of which comes due in several weeks.

Markets worldwide plummeted earlier this week after fiscally troubled countries Greece, Portugal and Spain saw their debt ratings cut — an escalation of the region's debt crisis that spread fears of a contagion.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average was up 234.36 points, or 1.1 percent, at 21,013.28.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.1 percent to 21,013.28 and South Korea's main benchmark added 0.9 percent to 1,743.33.

Elsewhere, Australia's market rose 0.3 percent, India's Sensex was up 0.5 percent and Singapore's index gained 0.4 percent. Chinese shares fell 1 percent.

As in the U.S., Asian companies also reported upbeat results. Shares in Samsung Electronics jumped 3 percent after the South Korean tech giant said net profit surged to a record in the first quarter, the result of stronger world demand for computers and gadgets.

In currencies, the dollar was unchanged from late Thursday in New York, trading at 94.07. The euro was up slightly to $1.3243 from $1.3241.

Oil prices rose in Asia, with benchmark crude for June delivery up 40 cents to $85.57 a barrel. The contract rose $1.95 to settle at $85.17 on Thursday.

In the U.S., the Dow rose 122.05, or 1.1 percent, to 11,167.32, bringing its two-day advance to 175.33.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 15.42, or 1.3 percent, to 1,206.78, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 40.19, or 1.6 percent, to 2,511.92.