SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks in Asia were on the boil on Thursday with the major indices across the region recording solid gains.
Strong employment data in Australia boosted the ASX and the Australian dollar. Australia's unemployment rate fell sharply last month to 4.2 percent.
The Australian All Ordinaries rose 16.80 points or 0.22 percent to close Thursday at 7,673.40. The Aussie dollar was fetching 0.7235 around the Sydney close.
The main action though was in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng soared 824.50 points or 3.42 percent to 24,952.35.
China's Shanghai Composite spent most of the day in the black but fell flat at the close. The key index slipped 3.12 points or 0.09 percent to close Thursday at 3,555.06.
The euro was little changed at 1.1346 during the Asian trading zone on Thursday. The British pound was a fraction stronger at 1.2621. The Japanese yen was a tad weaker at 114.48. The Swiss franc was unchanged at 0.9152.
The Canadian dollar firmed slightly to 1.2497. The New Zealand dollar was weaker at 0.6757.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 339.82 points, or 0.96 percent, to 35,028.65.
The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 44.35 points, or 0.97 percent, to 4,532.76.
The Nasdaq Composite declined 166.64 points, or 1.15 percent, to 14,340.26.