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Asia Stocks Rise On Hopes Of New Fed Stimulus Move

Traders are also awaiting U.S. monthly jobs figures for April, to be released Friday, and the second round of France's presidential election on Sunday.

Polls suggest the election will be won by Socialist contender Francois Hollande, who wants to renegotiate a European treaty intended to limit excessive government spending to emphasize growth over austerity. Economists fear Hollande could upset France's delicate cooperation with Germany, which has been critical to Europe's efforts to resolve its financial crisis.

U.S. stock markets rose Friday despite a report that the U.S. economy grew at annual rate of 2.2 percent, below the 2.5 percent that economist had expected. It grew at a faster rate, 3 percent, in the final three months of 2011.

Benchmark oil for June delivery was down 20 cents to $104.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 38 cents to settle at $104.93 in New York on Friday.

In currency trading, the euro fell to $1.3239 from $1.3259 late Friday in New York. The dollar fell to 80.14 yen from 80.39 yen.

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Follow Pamela Sampson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pamelasampson

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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