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The ZEW sentiment survey showed the economic expectations indicator rose to 62.0 points in December from 54.6 points in November, beating economists' expectations of an increase to 55.0 points. Asian markets were higher, taking its lead from strong o

The ZEW sentiment survey showed the economic expectations indicator rose to 62.0 points in December from 54.6 points in November, beating economists' expectations of an increase to 55.0 points.

Asian markets were higher, taking its lead from strong overnight gains in the U.S. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.8%, while South Korea's Kospi was up 0.2% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.3%. But China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.5%.

In corporate news, Boeing shared gained 2.2% in premarket trading after its board authorized a 50% increase to its regular dividend and $10 billion to repurchase its shares over the next several years.

KKR & Co. shares slipped 3.2% after the private-equity firm known for its large debt-fueled corporate takeovers said it reached a deal to acquire KKR Financial, bringing under its roof the separate, specialty-finance company managed by the private-equity firm that pursues debt investments and other bets. KKR signed an agreement to take over the sister firm in a $2.6 billion all-stock deal. Shares of KKR Financial jumped 29% in premarket trading.

Write to Kaitlyn Kiernan at kaitlyn.kiernan@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 17, 2013 09:11 ET (14:11 GMT)

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