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Asia Markets Gain after Dow Breakthrough

Asian stocks extended their advance Thursday after better-than-expected earnings reports from U.S. companies helped push the Dow Jones industrial average past the 10,000 mark for the first time in a year.

However, European stock markets eased lower Thursday.

The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 9.30 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,246.8. Meanwhile Germany's DAX fell 1.01 points, or 0.02 percent, to 5,853.5 and France's CAC-40 was flat at 3,883.2.

The dollar, meanwhile, showed few signs of rebounding from its recent descent, falling to another low against the euro. Commodities prices gained as a result, with oil trading at its highest point this year near $76 a barrel.

Markets across Asia traded higher for a third straight day after the Dow broke through the psychological five-digit barrier for the first time since October 2008, a milestone that added to investor belief in the market's turnaround.

Wall Street's move higher was driven partly by third-quarter earnings reports from chip maker Intel Corp. and banker JPMorgan Chase & Co. that strengthened confidence in the economy.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 stock average gained 157.40 points, or 1.6 percent, to 10,217.61, and Hong Kong's benchmark added 195.02, or 0.9 percent, to 22,081.50.

South Korea's Kospi edged up 7.83 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,656.92. Markets in mainland China, Australia and Taiwan also were modestly higher.

Thailand's market, however, continued to flounder with its benchmark index falling 4.7 percent amid concerns about the health of the country's 81-year-old king. Doctors have asked King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-serving monarch, to remain hospitalized so he can fully recover from a lung inflammation.

Oil prices rose in Asia on growing investor optimism about an economic recovery and as the U.S. dollar sank further. Benchmark crude for November delivery was up 72 cents to $75.90, the highest since October 2008. The contract added $1.03 overnight.

The dollar was little changed at 89.38 yen, but lost more ground against the euro. The euro climbed to $1.4950 from $1.4933.

Meanwhile, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 8 at 9,960. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up 0.50 at 1,088, while Nasdaq 100 index futures are up 0.25 at 1,748.

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