Asian markets mostly rose yesterday Thursday October 04 as investors cheered upbeat US economic data, but nagging concerns over Europe kept advances in check.
An increase in risk appetite and speculation about possible fresh Bank of Japan monetary easing lifted the dollar and euro against the yen, which in turn provided a platform for the Nikkei index.
Tokyo stocks rose, buoyed by a weaker yen and stronger-than-expected US economic data. The Nikkei 225 Index closed up 77.72 points at 8,824.59, or 0.89 per cent, while the Topix index of all first-section shares firmed 1.10 per cent, or 7.99 points, to 735.38.
“The positives have lined up for Japan shares to rise – especially the weaker yen,” Hiroichi Nishi, general manager of equities at SMBC Nikko Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Sydney added 0.31 per cent, or 13.8 points, to 4,452.4 but Seoul eased 0.17 per cent, or 3.35 points, to 1,992.68.
Regional shares took their cue from Wall Street, which ended in positive territory on Wednesday.
Eyes are now firmly on policy meetings over the next two days for the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and Bank of England, while closely watched non-farm payrolls are due out of Washington today.
“There is a little bit of a wait-and-see attitude in Asia this week,” said Wee Khoon Chong, Asia rates strategist at Societe Generale in Hong Kong.
HONG KONG: STOCKS closed slightly higher yesterday following a strong lead from Wall Street fuelled by better-than-expected US economic data.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 0.09 per cent, or 19.67 points, to 20,907.95.
Alvin Cheung, associate director at Prudential Brokerage, said trade was quiet as dealers wait to see how Chinese markets perform on Monday when they reopen after a week-long holiday.
Eyes were also on central bank meetings in Europe later yesterday and Japan today, when closely-watched US jobs data is also released.
SINGAPORE: MOST Southeast Asian stock markets gained yesterday, with the Philippine main index posting its second straight record closing high.
Stocks in Malaysia and Indonesia also hit all-time highs amid broad-based buying interest in the region as better US economic data eased fears over global growth and lifted global equities.
In Singapore, the benchmark Straits Times Index closed up 0.31 per cent, or 9.50 points, at 3,086.64.
Among the actives, Jardine Cycle and Carriage gained 2.55 per cent to S$49.84 and CapitaLand advanced 3.46 per cent to S$3.29.
KUALA LUMPUR: SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia ended higher yesterday in line with the steadier regional markets, dealers said. At 5pm, the FBM KLCI stood at an all-time closing high of 1,661.47, up 11.72 points.
The market barometer moved between 1,649.66 and 1,662.14 throughout the day.
Dealers said market sentiment regionally was boosted by the expectation of more central banks likely to pledge new stimulus measures in fighting off the effects of the economic slowdown.
A dealer said, back home, the local market movement was influenced by gains in defensive stocks like banking, consumer and telecommunication related sectors.
In other markets:
* Taipei ended flat, dipping 2.29 points to 7,682.34.
* Manila closed 1.27 per cent higher, adding 68.22 points to 5,443.74.
* Bangkok was flat, edging down 0.92 points to 1,306.63.* Jakarta added 0.47 per cent, or 19.95 points, to 4,271.46.
* Jakarta added 0.47 per cent, or 19.95 points, to 4,271.46.
* Mumbai rose 1.0 per cent, or 188.46 points, to 19,058.15.
VIETNAM: Vietnamese shares were back to their losing string today with draining liquidity as investors sold shares fearing the downswing was not over yet.
The benchmark VN Index lost 0.86 point or 0.22% to 384.51. Volume fell 29.2% to 25.98 million shares worth of VND362.31 billion thanks to heavy put-through deals.
Put through trading contributed 5.57 million shares worth of VND98.67 billion. We saw 2.39 million PPC shares changed hands at the flat price of VND8,600 each versus market close price of VND8,400 each.
Another 1 million NVT shares were changed hands at the floor price of VND4,500 each versus market close of VND4,700 each.
The VN30 lost 0.82 point or 0.18%, to 449.62. Among its 30 members 4 gained, 21 lost the ground and 5 unchanged.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX lost 0.02 point or 0.03% to 54.17.
Trading volume fell 30.9% to 14.4 million shares worth VND110.17 billion.
The market breadth was negative where 73 rallied, 102 declined, 73 closed unmoved, the rest untraded.
The HNX30 lost 0.41 point or 0.41% to 100.3. Of its 30 members, 6 gained, 11 unchanged, 12 lost.
EUROPE: European shares turned fractionally lower yesterday afternoon after the European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said the bank’s governing council had not discussed possible future rate cuts. The ECB kept its interest rates on hold.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 0.1 per cent at 1,100.35 after trading as high as 1,102.07 points at 1035 GMT.
“The market’s rangebound and will continue to be until we get some resolution on Spain,” said XBZ Ltd European equity options broker Mike Turner.
Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The market is looking for some catalysts and that could come from the third-quarter results season and from economic numbers.”
AMERICA: An encouraging report on the labor market and better sales from Costco and other retail stores helped push the stock market higher Thursday.
The government said that 367,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits for the first time last week. That’s an increase from the previous week but fewer than economists had forecast.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 80.75 points to close at 13,575.36. Aluminum giant Alcoa led the 30 stocks in the Dow with a 3.3 percent surge, rising 29 cents to $9.07.
“It’s not just the jobless claims numbers on their own,” said Brian Gendreau, market strategist at Cetera Financial Group. “They’re coming on the back of … manufacturing and service-sector reports that were better than people expected this week.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 10.41 points to 1,461.40. The Nasdaq composite rose 14.23 points to 3,149.46.
The job-market report helped drive the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to 1.67 percent from 1.62 percent late Wednesday. Traders tend to sell Treasurys following better economic news.
The Commerce Department said that orders to U.S. factories came in better than forecasts, even though the 5.2 percent drop in orders was the biggest in more than three years.
Costco and other retail chain stores reported September sales that came in ahead of Wall Street’s estimates. Costco gained $1.86 to $101.48. Target rose 56 cents to $63.65.
The stock market barely moved following the release of the Federal Reserve’s minutes from its meeting last month, when the Fed hatched a new open-ended program to spend $40 billion a month on mortgage bonds. The minutes revealed that all but one member of the Fed’s interest-rate committee voted in favor of the bond-buying effort.
The key event this week comes Friday morning when the Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report. Economists forecast that the unemployment rate inched up to 8.2 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August.
The major stock market indexes have climbed steadily higher to start October. The Dow rose 78 points Monday after the Institute for Supply Management said its gauge of manufacturing rose in September for the first time in four months. For the month, the Dow is up an even 1 percent and the S&P 500 is up 1.4 percent.
Among other stocks making big moves:
— Google rose $5.55 to $768.05. The Internet giant and U.S. publishers announced they had settled a seven-year dispute over Google’s book-scanning project. A lawsuit filed by authors remains, though.
— Sprint Nextel sank 2 percent, or 11 cents, to $5.09. Reports said the wireless carrier may launch a competing bid for MetroPCS Communications. That would pit Sprint against Deutsche Telekom, which plans to merge MetroPCS with its T-Mobile USA unit.
— Avery Dennison’s stock dropped following news that 3M Co. dissolved an agreement to buy Avery Dennison’s office and consumer products division. The Department of Justice had threatened to block the deal, saying that the sale to 3M, the maker of Post-It notes, would curtail competition in the market for sticky labels. Avery Dennison lost $1.38 to $30.07.
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