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Asia Stocks Up As US Jobless Data Fuels Optimism

The vote allows Kuroda to stand in for current Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa after he steps down on March 19. Another vote is required to make Kuroda's appointment permanent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.4 percent to 22,533.11. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.8 percent to 5,120.20. Benchmarks in mainland China, Thailand and Indonesia rose while those in Singapore and Taiwan fell. South Korea's Kospi shed 0.8 percent to 1,986.50.

Among individual stocks, Petrochina Ltd., China's biggest oil and gas producer, fell 0.8 percent after Italian oil producer ENI said it sold a 20 percent stake in a gas field in Mozambique to the Hong Kong-listed company for $4.2 billion.

Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 15 cents to $93.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 51 cents to close at $93.03 per barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3014 from $1.3000 late Thursday in New York. The dollar was unchanged at 96.02 yen.

___

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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