US markets climb on upbeat data

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US markets closed up last night after the latest round of strong economic data and some better than expected third quarter earnings figures.

The Dow shot up 1.3%, to 16,678, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ also climbed 1.2% and 1.6% respectively. Top risers included construction firm Caterpillar and manufacturer 3M - two firms where earnings have beaten expectations.

The buoyancy comes after figures from the US government indicated the number of workers claiming for unemployment benefits over the past month had fallen to a 14-year low.

Asian markets were more mixed overnight, with the Nikkei 225 up 1% but others falling.

Positive data showing Japan's exports rose at a faster pace in the seven months to September helped lift shares, but in China, markets were more subdued - the Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed down 0.15%, while the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 fell 0.13%.

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