World markets surged Friday as news of Chinese plans to spend billions on roads, rail and other infrastructure projects, added to hopes for more global stimulus following the European Central Bank's bond buying plan.
The official Chinese news agency Xinhuanet reported Friday that the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, approved 55 investment projects worth 1 trillion yuan, or $157.7 billion.
In response, the Shanghai Composite index ( closed up 3.7%, while Hong Kong's )Hang Seng ( gained 3.1%. Japan's )Nikkei ( rose 2.2%. )
Markets in Europe were higher in midday trading Friday, with France's CAC 40 ( and Germany's )DAX ( each up about 1%. )
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi raised hopes Thursday for more aggressive stimulus in support of the euro, with a plan for unlimited bond purchases by the ECB. Markets in Europe and the U.S. soared on his comments. Part of Friday's rally in Asia is likely due to the ECB announcement as well, since the European debt crisis has become a major drag on manufacturing in China and other Asian countries.
The news out of the ECB and China helped to lifted the euro against the dollar, but Japan's yen slipped compared to those currencies.
The government's August report showed employers added fewer workers than expected to payrolls. The report dashed hopes for stronger numbers after payroll processing firm ADP said private sector employers added 201,000 jobs in the month on Thursday, or roughly twice the number reported by the Labor Department.