Investors in Asia on Monday April 26 welcomed housing data out of the US, which boosted confidence that a recovery in the world’s biggest economy was on track.
However, concerns over Greece’s debt crisis lingered despite the government formally asking for a multi-billion-dollar loan to help it avoid a default.
Washington on Friday released estimates showing sales of newly constructed single-family homes jumped nearly 27 percent month on month in March, the biggest surge in 50 years, a dealer said.
The figure was also up nearly 24 percent from March 2009, according to the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development data.
The news lifted Wall Street, which in turn gave impetus to Asian markets yesterday.
TOKYO surged 2.30 percent, or 251.33 points, to 11,165.79 .
“The positive economic data in the United States on the new home sales for March boosted optimism for economic recovery,” Victor Shum, a Singapore-based analyst with the Purvin and Gertz energy consultancy, said.
Japanese exporters were sent higher by a weaker yen as dealers moved into riskier assets due to strong stock prices.
HONG KONG: Shares rose 1.61 percent yesterday on bargain-hunting following three straight losses last week and helped by a strong lead from Wall Street.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index gave up 342.57 points to end at 21,587.06.
Heavyweight HSBC gained 2.3 percent to 82.95 after a 4.1 percent drop in the previous five sessions.
SINGAPORE: Shares closed higher yesterday, with the key index climbing to its highest since April 16 on bullish economic data.
The city state’s factory output grew by double digits from a year ago as the trade-dependent economy continues its rebound from its worst ever-recession last year.
The Straits Times Index closed up 0.47 percent, or 14.13 points, at 3,002.62.
SYDNEY was closed for a public holiday.
SHANGHAI fell 0.47 percent, or 14.03 points, to 2,983.51 on continued concerns over the government’s plans to rein in property prices.
State media reported on Monday that China is likely to introduce a property tax on residential housing in the first half of the year as part of its attempoints to curb real estate prices.
KUALA LAMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia extended their technical rebound yesterday, with advancing counters outpacing declining ones by 362 to 306.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) rebounded from its intra-day low of 1,336.49 to its intra-day high of 1,340.37. It closed at 1,340.07 points, giving a day-on-day gain of 3.29 points, or 0.25 percent.
In other markets:
SEOUL closed 0.87 percent higher, gaining 15.17 points to 1,752.20.
TAIPEI closed up 1.91 percent or 153.25 points at 8,158.14.
MANILA was 1.48 percent, or 48.14 points, higher at 3,292.59.
JAKARTA rose 0.68 percent, or 19.97 points, to 2,944.70.
BANGKOK rose 1.29 pe rcent, or 9.76 points, to close at 764.34 as foreign investors bought despite the country’s political crisis.
MUMBAI rose 0.29 percent, or 51.08 points, to close at 17,745.28.
VIETNAM: The VN Index jumped 1.9 points or 0.36 percent to end at 531.21 points with the total matching order trade of over 63 million shares valued at nearly 2.5 trillion dong, down 18 percent in volume and 22 percent in value against the previous session.
The HNX Index tumbled 2.35 points or 1.32 percent to 175.98 points with the total market trade of over 43.75 million shares valued at 1.655 trillion dong, down 43.37 percent in volume and 38.6 percent in value against the last session.
EUROPE: Europe’s main stock markets rose yesterday after the prospects of an EU-IMF bailout for Greece grew but Portuguese equities plunged amid fears of possible contagion from the Greek debt crisis.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of top shares closed up 0.53 percent to 5,753.85 points, the Paris CAC 40 jumped 1.17 percent to 3,997.39 points and the Frankfurt DAX advanced by 1.16 percent to 6,332.10 points.
Equity investors were generally upbeat after debt-plagued Greece requested a e45 billion rescue from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week to help it avoid a default.
German scepticism over the plan also appeared to ease yesterday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking of her “faith” in ongoing talks and saying there was a need for “a quick reaction for the stability of the eurozone.”
AMERICA: The stock market closed narrowly mixed Monday after a strong earnings report from Caterpillar Inc. offset investors’ concerns about financial regulation.
The Dow rose 0.75, or less than 0.1 percent, to 11,205.03. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.23, or 0.4 percent, to 1,212.05, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 7.20, or 0.3 percent, to 2,522.95.
Losing shares narrowly outpaced advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to 5.7 billion shares, compared with 5.4 billion on Friday.
Gold and the dollar both rose. Oil prices fell 92 cents to settle at $84.20 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Bond prices were mixed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.81 percent from 3.82 percent late Friday.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 3.06, or 0.4 percent, to 738.86.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7635 10.3978 0.0827 12.0135 7.2408 7.7612 7.2069 AUD 1.0772 1.4428 0.0115 1.667 1.0047 1.0769 0.1388 CAD 1.0003 1.3397 0.0107 1.5479 0.9329 0.9286 0.1288 CHF 1.0722 1.436 0.0114 1.6591 1.0719 0.9953 0.1381 GBP 0.6462 0.8655 0.0069 0.6027 0.646 0.5999 0.0832 JPY 93.89 125.749 145.288 87.5684 93.8628 87.1581 12.0938 EUR 0.7466 0.008 1.1554 0.6964 0.7464 0.6931 0.0962 USD 1.3393 0.0107 1.5474 0.9327 0.9997 0.9283 0.1288 Bloomberg