Asian stocks were mixed yesterday Friday Mar 27 as confidence about the state of the global economy was pegged back by profit-taking following another strong week on the trading floors. In the US, caution reasserted itself sending stocks down sharply but not enough to stop the market from notching its third straight weekly advance.
Dealers have taken some heart over the past few weeks as small pieces of good news recently suggest the heat may be coming out of the global financial crisis that has wiped billions off shares since last year.
TOKYO: Down 0.11%. The Nikkei-225 dropped 9.36 points to 8,626.97. The market was initially strong after overnight gains on Wall Street, but it gradually trimmed those advances in the afternoon and turned negative as players locked in profits.
SYDNEY: Up 0.71%. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 rose 25.7 points to 3,672.3. Traders pulled back slightly from a bullish morning inspired by Wall Street gains, dealers said.
HONG KONG: Share prices closed flat yesterday, as profit-taking was offset by gains in property firms, dealers said. The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed up 0.07%, or 10.52 points, at 14,119.50.
SHANGHAI: Up 0.54%. The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B shares, rose 12.73 points to 2,374.44. The market was led by new energy stocks after the finance ministry said it would offer subsidies to the solar energy sector, dealers said.
SINGAPORE: The main Straits Times Index ended the week at 1,745.66, up 148.74 points or 9.31% from the previous week.
TAIPEI: Flat. The weighted index rose 4.14 points or 0.08% to 5,390.70. The market opened up 1.52% with buying ignited by Wall Street’s gains, dealers said, but profit-taking later eroded the advances.
SEOUL: Down 0.51%. The KOSPI ended down 6.29 points at 1,237.51. The fall ended a five-day winning streak for the market.
KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia closed mixed yesterday as players locked in profits after the earlier gains, dealers said. At 5pm, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) shed 0.04 of a point to 885.43.
BANGKOK: Up 0.32%. The SET gained 1.41 points to close at 440.81. Trade was light amid fresh domestic political turmoil as an anti-government rally continued into a second day.
JAKARTA: Up 3.01%. The Jakarta Composite Index jumped 42.77 points to 1,462.74. “On the chart, it looks like the main index is moving in an uptrend line, with the closest resistance at 1,480,” a trader said.
MANILA: Up 2.61%. The composite index added 51.99 points to 2,040.25. “Markets are rebounding as (economic) figures from the US aren’t as bad as we expected. Markets are now discounting the worst,” Joseph Roxas of Eagle Equities said.
MUMBAI: Up 0.45%. The 30-share Sensex index rose 45.39 points to 10,048.49, its fifth straight day of gains. Sentiment has improved on overseas fund buying which has pushed the Indian market up more than 20% in three weeks.
EUROPE: European shares closed lower yesterday, snapping a six-day rally, with an across-the-board decline as investors on both sides of the Atlantic took profits. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares fell 1.1% to a provisional close of 737.22 points. Across Europe, London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares was down 0.67% at 3,898.85 points. The CAC 40 index in Paris fell 1.78% to 2,840.62 and the Dax in Frankfurt dropped 1.31% to 4,203.55 points.
US: Caution reasserted itself on Wall Street, sending stocks down sharply but not enough to stop the market from notching its third straight weekly advance. Major indexes fell about 2% Friday, but most analysts agreed the pullback was a natural response to the market’s powerful climb this month. The Dow fell 148.38, or 1.9%, to 7,776.18.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 16.92, or 2%, to 815.94 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 41.80, or 2.6%, to 1,545.20.
Despite the decline, the indexes are still looking much better than they did a month ago:
The Dow is up 17.3% in the last three weeks, its best gain since September 1982 and its longest string of advances since May last year. It’s also still up 10% for the month; the last time the Dow gained at least 10% in a month was in October 2002.
The S&P 500 has soared 20.6% over the past 14 trading days, its best run over that length of time since 1938.
For the week, the Dow is up more than 6.8%. The S&P 500 is up 6.2% and the Nasdaq is up 6%.