Asian markets and the euro rose yesterday Thursday 06 ahead of a European Central Bank meeting that many expect will see the restart of a sovereign bond-buying programme aimed at easing the eurozone debt crisis.
Tokyo edged up 0.01 per cent, or 0.75 points, to 8,680.57, while Seoul advanced 0.38 per cent, or 7.21 points, to close at 1,881.24.
Sydney rose 0.80 per cent, or 34.1 points, to finish at 4,312.9 after Qantas Airways jumped 6.67 per cent at A$1.20 on an announcement it has tied up with Emirates Airlines as part of a global alliance to turn around its international arm.
Shanghai climbed 0.70 per cent, or 14.24 points, to 2,051.92.
The gains were also helped by bargain-hunting after two days of losses caused by another batch of weak manufacturing data that fuelled concerns over the global economy.
“The ECB meeting is the main focus, however, trading will be thin until more is known about the implications of the central bank’s policy stance,” said Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities.
HONG KONG:Shares closed up 0.34 per cent yesterday as dealers await a meeting of the European Central Bank, which may see the announcement of new measures to tackle the eurozone debt crisis.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 64.23 points to 19,209.3.
Investors have become increasingly confident that the ECB, due to meet later yesterday, will announce plans to buy up the debt of under-pressure countries that have seen their borrowing costs soar to dangerous levels.
Citic Pacific rose 3.1 per cent to HK$9.24 and China Shenhua, up 1.3 per cent to HK$27.05.
SINGAPORE: THE FTSE Straits Times Index fell for a fourth session, finishing 0.22 per cent, or 6.64 points, the lowest close since July 23.
Yesterday’s close brings the STI 2012 year-to-date performance to +12.96 per cent. There were 10 gainers, 2 unchanged and 18 decliners.
Among the top active stocks were Genting (-1.12 per cent), Sakari Resources (unchanged), DBS Group (+0.56 per cent), Noble Group (+2.14 per cent) and SingTel (-0.60 per cent).
Keppel Land fell 1.49 per cent to S$3.30.
KUALA LUMPUR: BURSA Malaysia closed sharply lower on pa-nic selling after Standard and Poor’s said it may cut Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating if the government did not deliver promised reforms to cut spending to reduce its fiscal deficits.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) lost 23.02 points to close at 1,617.99. It hovered between 1,613.16 and 1,635.95 throughout the day.
The downtrend was dragged by losses in heavyweights Axiata and CIMB which fell 20 sen each to RM6.02 and RM7.54 respectively.
Affin Investment Bank vice-president and head of retail research, Dr Nazri Khan, said Malaysia’s ranking slippage in the latest World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2012-2013 also gave investors the excuse to close bets and take profits ahead of the potential budget and local election.
The Finance Index lost 206.68 points to 14,500.27, Industrial Index fell 38.02 points to 2,805.74 and the Plantation Index eased 122.66 points to 8,400.10. The FBM Emas Index fell 156.81 points to 11,022.06, FBM 70 Index fell 169.49 points to 12,002.01 and the FBM ACE Index lost 79.72 points to 4,414.35.
Losers beat gainers by 739 to 157, while 241 counters were unchanged, 487 untraded and 25 others suspended.
As for heavyweights, Maybank declined 14 sen to RM9.00, Sime Darby lost three sen to RM9.76 and Maxis dipped 15 sen to RM6.80.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed lower in tandem with the downtrend in the cash market, dealers said.
September and December shed 23.5 points each to 1,611.50 and 1,610.50 respectively. October and March 2013 lost 22.5 points each to 1,612.5 and 1,608 respectively.
Turnover rose to 13,812 lots from Wednesday’s 7,760 lots while open interest increased to 45,999 contracts from 40,913 contracts.
In other markets:
* Wellington rose 23.89 points, or 0.65 per cent, at 3,693.54.
* Manila closed flat, edging down 0.10 points, to 5,150.11.
* Taipei fell 40.72 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 7,326.72.
* Jakarta ended 0.67 per cent higher, or 27.51 points up, at 4,102.86.
* Bangkok rose 0.82 per cent, or 10.08 points, to 1,243.92.
* Mumbai rose 0.19 per cent, or 32.93 points, to 17,346.27.
VIETNAM: Vietnamese stocks continued to see losses as market sentiment went sour as uncertainty persists.
The benchmark VN Index lost 5.51 points or 1.38% to 393.41. Volume fell by 26.82% to 33.45 million shares worth of VND541.74 billion. Put through trading contributed 6.3 million shares worth of VND147.96 billion.
The market breadth was negative on the primary bourse where 70 stocks advanced, 153 declined, 59 closed unchanged.
The VN30 gained 5.83 points or 1.24%, to 463.63. Amongst its 30 members, 3 stock rallied, 23 lost and 4 unchanged.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX closed down 0.6 point or 0.98% to 60.32. Trading volume fell 23.9% to 24.2 million shares worth VND216.93 billion.
EUROPE: European stocks and the euro rallied yesterday as markets bet on the ECB announcing more exceptional measures aimed at fighting the eurozone debt crisis amid fears of a Spanish bailout.
London’s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.72 per cent to stand at 5,698.93 points in late morning deals, as traders also awaited the Bank of England’s latest monetary policy announcements due yesterday.
In Frankfurt, where the European Central Bank was to make its keenly-awaited decisions, the DAX 30 jumped 1.28 per cent to 7,052.39 points.
In Paris, the CAC 40 won 0.98 per cent to 3,439.07. Madrid advanced 1.49 per cent and Milan gained 1.19 per cent.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro increased to US$1.2615, from US$1.2600 late in New York on Wednesday.
AMERICA: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index soared to its highest level since January 2008, and the Dow Jones industrial average hit its highest mark since December 2007.
A concrete plan to support struggling countries in Europe provided the necessary jolt, and the gains were extraordinarily broad. European markets surged and U.S. Treasury bond prices dropped as traders sold low-risk investments. All but 13 stocks in the S&P 500 index rose.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 244.52 points, or 1.9 percent, to close at 13,292.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index soared 28.68 points, or 2 percent, to 1,432.12.
The Nasdaq composite index jumped 66.54 points, 2.2 percent, to 3,135.81.
For the week:
The Dow is up 201.16 points, or 1.5 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 25.54 points, or 1.8 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 68.85 points, or 2.2 percent.
For the year so far:
The Dow is up 1,074.44 points, or 8.8 percent.
The S&P 500 is up 174.52 points, or 13.9 percent.
The Nasdaq is up 530.66 points, or 20.4 percent.
Benchmark Currency Rates