Asian Shares Rise; Hang Seng Gains 1.6%

Asian stocks ended higher Friday, with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong the big winner with a gain of 1.6%.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Asian stocks ended higher Friday, with the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong the big winner with a gain of 1.6%.

The Nikkei 225 stock average in Tokyo rose 0.3%, while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.9%.

Stocks in the region rose on the back of strong retail data from the U.S., but were tempered by continued worries over a selloff in Greek debt.

European shares were higher. The FTSE in London gained 0.9%, the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.9% and the CAC in Paris gained 1.2%.

Premarket futures suggested stocks in the U.S. would rise at the open Friday.

On Thursday in the U.S., the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 29.55, or 0.3%, to 10,927.07. The

S&P 500

rose 0.3% while the

Nasdaq

rose 0.2%.

Retailers such as

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

and

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

posted solid increases in March retail sales, topping the estimates of analysts.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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