Asian markets mostly climbed yestersday Wednesday August 08, with hopes rising for a new round of stimulus from the US and European Central Bank, but profit taking reversed earlier gains in Hong Kong.
Tokyo closed up 0.88, or 77.85 points, at 8,881.16, Seoul put on 0.87 per cent, or 16.43 points, to end at 1,903.23, while Sydney added 0.49 per cent, or 21.0 points, to close at 4,312.6. Shanghai climbed 0.16 per cent, or 3.37 points, to 2,160.99.
StanChart’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell for a second day following huge losses in London on Tuesday, after the bank was accused by US regulators of hiding sanction-busting multi-billion-dollar trades with Iran.
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) branded it a “rogue institution” and threatened it with fines and the suspension of its licence, which would close it off from the crucial US financial market.
London-based StanChart said it “strongly rejects … the portrayal of facts as set out” by the DFS.
HONG KONG: STOCKS closed flat yesterday, giving up earlier gains as dealers took profits from a recent rally on the back of hopes for fresh stimulus by the European and US central banks.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index edged down 7.03 points to end at 20,065.52.
“Although there will be pullbacks throughout, the overall direction in the short run is upward,” William Lo, an analyst at Ample Capital, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Interim results were in focus, with shares in Hong Kong flag-carrier Cathay Pacific closing down 4.33 per cent at HK$12.36.
SINGAPORE: BUCKING the trend, the Straits Times Index declined 0.50 per cent, or 15.49 points, to end at 3,052.25 as investors booked profits ahead of a National Day holiday today.
Losers led gainers 250 to 143.
Fraser & Neave was up 2.5 per cent at S$8.49, while Asia Pacific Breweries ended 7.5 per cent higher at S$52.50.
DBS Group fell 0.54 per cent to S$14.75, while Sembcorp Industries gained 2.83 per cent to S$5.46.
Golden Agri-Resources fell 3.5 per cent to S$0.70 and Wilmar International lost 1.5 per cent to S$3.23.
KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia remained slightly higher at close yesterday as investors increased their holdings in selected blue chips, dealers said.
At 5pm, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 4.8 points to 1,635.92 compared with Tuesday’s closing of 1,631.12.
Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd in a Traders Brief here said, taking cue from improving external markets and a successful breakout above resistance of 1,635, the FBM KLCI is slated to retest an all-time high of 1,648 soon.
The Finance Index slipped 21.43 points to 14,690.29, the Industrial Index improved 22.23 points to 2,851.49 and the Plantation Index advanced 16.41 points to 8,678.3.
The FBM Emas Index rose 24.75 points to 11,194.96 and the FBMT100 was 25.68 points higher at 11,014.12, while the FBM70 eased 2.03 points to 12,335.4 and the FBM ACE Index dropped 21.37 points to 4,414.98.
In other markets:
* Wellington closed flat, edging down 0.08 per cent, or 3.02 points, to 3,581.79.
* Manila closed 0.46 per cent higher, adding 24.51 points to 5,308.67.
* Taipei rose 0.33 per cent, or 24.34 points, to 7,319.80.
* Indonesia rose 0.13 per cent, or 5.13 points, to 4,090.71.
* Bangkok added 0.49 per cent, or 5.94 points, to 1,214.13.
* Mumbai ended flat, edging down 0.01 per cent, or 1.22 points, to 17,600.56.
VIETNAM: Vietnamese shares edged up today on thin trading as selling pressure eased.
The benchmark VN Index gained 1.07 points or 0.25% to 423.57. Volume fell further by 28% to 23.8 million shares worth of VND349.5 billion. Put through trading contribute 1.4 million shares worth of VND29.35 billion.
The market breadth turned positive on the primary bourse where 131 stocks advanced, 96 declined, 82 closed unchanged.
The VN30 added 1.67 points or 0.33%, to 503.74. Amongst its 30 members, 19 gained, 4 lost and 7 unchanged.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX advanced 0.9 point or 1.29% to 70.48. Trading volume rose 13.7% to 39.6 million shares worth VND529.5 billion.
The market breadth was positive where 143 rallied, 67 declined, 70 closed unmoved, the rest untraded.
HNX30 gained 2.75 points or 2.08% to 135.1.
EUROPE: Europe’s main stock markets fell yesterday as dealers awaited key Chinese economic data and mulled eurozone crisis fears, but scandal-hit bank Standard Chartered rebounded after heavy losses.
Markets sagged as traders looked ahead to today’s Chinese data including inflation and industrial production.
Sentiment was also hit overnight after Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s debt rating outlook to negative.
In late morning deals, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies dropped 0.39 per cent to 5,818.32 points as British investors awaited the latest economic growth and inflation forecasts from the Bank of England.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 slid 0.30 per cent to 6,946.08 points and in Paris the CAC 40 reversed 0.29 per cent to 3,442.72. Madrid shed 1.61 per cent and Milan lost 0.55 per cent.
The European single currency dipped to US$1.2373 from US$1.2401 late in New York on Tuesday.
AMERICA: A stock market rally lost steam Wednesday after mixed earnings from U.S. companies added to fears about Europe’s economic slowdown.
Several big consumer goods companies warned that weak demand in Europe was cutting into their revenue. That followed worrisome economic news from England, France and Germany, where growth had offset recessions in other European countries like Italy and Greece.
Major U.S. stock indexes closed little changed. The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 7.04 points, or 0.1 percent, at 13,175.64. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.87 point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,402.22. The Nasdaq closed down 4.61 points, or 0.2 percent, at 3,011.25.
The Dow had risen 290 points over the previous three trading days. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 passed 1,400 and the Nasdaq composite closed above 3,000, both for the first time since early May.
As stocks in New York traded tentatively, the dollar rose against the euro, a sign that investors are becoming more fearful.
McDonalds fell $1.48 to $87.53 after the company said a key revenue figure came in flat in July as the weakening global economy took a toll on customers of the world’s biggest burger chain. McDonalds was the weakest stock in the Dow.
Priceline.com fell more than $100 after warning investors late Tuesday that its third-quarter revenue and income would come in far below analysts’ forecasts because of the deepening malaise in Europe. Priceline’s stock sank $117.48, or 17.3 percent, to $562.32.
Priceline’s travails dragged on other online travel sites. TripAdvisor fell $1.89 to $36.77 and Expedia lost $2.73 to $56.14 percent. That made them three of the five biggest losers in the S&P 500 index.
Ralph Lauren fell $1.68 to $151.35 after the company forecast a revenue decline in the current quarter and cautioned that the weak global economy might reduce spending on its clothes and housewares.
Separately, the French central bank said it expects France’s economy to contract in the third quarter, the second pullback in a row.
Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook on Greece’s long-term credit rating, saying the bailed-out nation will likely need more aid from its international lenders as its economy crumbles and leaders delay imposing harsh austerity measures.
And in Germany, industrial output and exports dropped sharply in June, a sign that Europe’s strongest economy might finally be succumbing to the regional crisis.
Bloomin’ Brands Inc., operator of the Outback Steakhouse and other restaurant chains, jumped $1.41, or 12.8 percent, to $12.41 in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq.
Among other companies making big moves:
- Macy’s rose $1.01, or 2.7 percent, to $38.01 after the department store chain said its net income in the second quarter rose 16 percent and beat analysts’ estimates.
- Alpha Natural Resources fell 60 cents, or 8.7 percent, to $6.30 after reporting a wider net loss in the second quarter. The coal producer is struggling to compete with cheap natural gas.
- Dean Foods soared $5.04, or 40.6 percent, to $17.46 after the company posted a second-quarter profit, raised its full-year forecast and announced the initial public offering of a dairy subsidiary that makes Horizon Organic milk and Land O’ Lakes cream. It was the biggest percentage gain by far of any stock in the S&P 500.
- Higher One Holdings Inc., which markets financial services to millions of U.S. higher education students, fell 38 cents to $11.13 after the company said its second-quarter net income declined and fell far short of analysts’ expectations. Federal regulators announced Wednesday that the company had agreed to refund millions in excessive fees charged to students who used its cards.
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