RPT-GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks gain, euro and Aussie climb in Asia

* Asia stocks rise 2 pct on Wall St rise, earnings optimism

* Aussie employment figures soar past forecasts

* Euro climbs to 2-month high, dollar defensive

* Nikkei could see biggest pct gain in over a month
(Repeats to more subscribers)

By Elaine Lies

TOKYO, July 8 (BestGrowthStock) – The euro surged to a two-month
high and Asian stocks were set for their best gains in over two
weeks on Thursday after a bullish company forecast fuelled
optimism about the coming U.S. earnings season and underpinned
a slow return by investors to riskier assets.

Further good news came with the release of Australian
employment figures that surged well above forecasts, promising
to boost household incomes and spending and pushing the
Australian dollar to its highest since late June.

U.S. financial company State Street Corp said on Wednesday
that quarterly earnings would far exceed expectations,
providing a lifeline to investors after several weeks of dismal
economic reports and propelling Wall Street to its biggest
one-day gain in six weeks.

The MSCI index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose
2.1 percent to its highest since June 29, and looked set for
its best one-day performance since June 21, led by materials
and financial shares.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average rose 2.7 percent to 9,525
points, and appeared to be on target for its best one-day rise
in over a month, with exporters especially strong performers.

But market watchers were wary about whether the gains would
last, noting that the Nikkei was finding it difficult to extend
its gains much past 9,500.

Recent attempts at rallies in many markets have quickly
succumbed to profit taking, highlighting weak investor
confidence and concerns that the global economic recovery may
be losing momentum.

Strong company earnings reports and sales forecasts in
coming weeks could soothe some of those fears.

“There are probably a lot of individual investors who have
been waiting for a day like today to lock in profits,” said
Hiroaki Osakabe, a fund manager at Chibagin Asset Management.

“The 9,500 level turned into resistance several times
during June, so this could be one good level (for selling).”

But others thought the rally might have further to go, and
even Osakabe acknowledged that more short-covering could emerge
after the Nikkei was pushed to a seven-month low on Tuesday.

“It could easily be viewed as a bounce from an oversold
market in equities and risk appetite, and most people will see
it in that light,” said Greg Gibbs, a currency strategist at
Royal Bank of Scotland in Sydney.

“But give it some time. They won’t be immediately trying to
sell it down,” he said, referring to the rally in riskier
assets.

Australian shares were the next strongest performer in the
region after Japan, gaining 2 percent, with banks among the top
gainers.

June Australian employment figures, released mid-morning,
surged to 45,900, far above market forecasts of 17,500 in a
Reuters poll, and the unemployment rate eased, reviving talk of
an interest rate hike in the next few months and eroding
arguments for a possible cut.

AUSSIE SHINES ON JOBS DATA

The data sent the Aussie dollar up more than half a U.S.
cent and more than half a yen to its strongest levels since
late June, and helped the euro breach resistance at $1.2673,
although it quickly faltered at the highs.

“The Aussie numbers came in monster. You couldn’t fault any
of the detail really: it was an all-round fairly strong
number,” said Sue Trinh, senior currency strategist at Royal
Bank of Canada in Hong Kong.

“Unsurprisingly the Aussie is up, with bill futures also
coming off. This leaves the door wide open for a rate hike in
August should CPI prove stronger than expected.”

Australian consumer price data is due on July 28.

The Australian dollar rose to 0.8731 gaining around 1.2
percent on the day. It rose 1.8 percent against the yen

The euro climbed to a two-month high above $1.2665 and rose
as far as $1.2688 on electronic trading platform EBS, breaking
above resistance at $1.2673 that had been seen as a hurdle to
further gains, but later fell back.

Most analysts in a Reuters poll believe it will stay weak
against the dollar over the coming year as much of the euro
zone struggles to reduce debt levels.

The survey of about 60 analysts, taken July 2-7, predicted
the euro would fall to $1.24 in one month and $1.20 in three
months, then to $1.18 in six months and in mid-2011.

Crude oil surged past $75 a barrel as earnings euphoria
boosted shares, reinforcing overnight gains triggered by an
industry report showing U.S. crude inventories plunged last
week. By midday it had pared gains to around 0.7 percent and
traded around $74.60 a barrel.

Gold extended its rebound, with spot gold rising to around
$1,205 an ounce.
(Additional reporting by Charlotte Cooper)
(Editing by Kim Coghill)

RPT-GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks gain, euro and Aussie climb in Asia