BEIJING -- China markets rose Thursday, shrugging off worries about Wednesday's North Korean missile launch and the potential for more monetary tightening in the U.S.The Hang Seng gained 1.1% to close at 16,441, while the Shanghai Composite was up 1.3% to 1741. Wednesday in New York, unexpectedly strong employment data resuscitated jitters about looming interest rate hikes. The major averages headed south, dragging a broad swathe of China stocks along with them. Baidu ( BIDU) was off 2.2% to $83.99, Yanzhou Coal ( YZC) was down 2.4% to $35.93 and China Life ( LFC) slid 3.9% to $61.65. On the geopolitical front, ING Asia economist Tim Condon called Wednesday's provocative missile firings by North Korea "a setback to the recovery of risk appetites" in the region. Starting in mid-May, investors concerned about an economic slowdown in the U.S. began cycling out of Asian equities in a bid to pare risk. To be sure, stocks have weathered similar crises in the past. North Korean-sponsored missile launches in 1998 and 2003, which were likewise intended to be confrontational, proved not to have any lasting effect on the South Korean equities, noted J.P. Morgan analyst Jiwon Lim. Within the region, Chinese markets are probably less likely to react to nuclear grandstanding by North Korea since the mainland is perceived as a relative ally and has historically had ties with the Communist regime there. Still, it doesn't bode well that on Thursday, a bellicose Pyongyang said more missile launches could be in the offing. Separately in mainland news, Nokia ( NOK) announced it had won a $150 million deal from a China Mobile subsidiary to expand GSM and GPRS networks in central Henan province. Gearmakers stand to land more such deals in the provinces over the next couple quarters, since in May, China Mobile headquarters wrapped up a round of purchasing negotiations with suppliers. That clears the way for provincial subsidiaries to ink equipment contracts at the agreed-on prices.