Asian markets were mostly down during quiet trade yesterday Monday Dec 21 as dealers stuck to the sidelines in the final days before the end of the year.
A strong showing on Wall Street and the best Japanese export figures for more than a year were unable to provide enough momentum for any real movement.
TOKYO: Up 0.41 percent. The Nikkei-225 gained 41.42 points to 10,183.47. The market is at its highest since October 27.
Stocks will likely stay quiet for the rest of the year, Nikko Cordial senior strategist Tsuyoshi Kawata told Dow Jones Newswires.
HONG KONG: Shares fell 1.08 percent yesterday on jitters over Beijing’s plans to reel in soaring property prices, dealers said. The benchmark Hang Seng Index shed 227.78 points to 20,948.10.
The market ended lower for the fifth consecutive session.
Mark To, head of research at Wing Fung Financial Group Ltd, said he expects the index to remain weak in the remaining sessions of the year due to fears over Beijing’s property price policies.
SINGAPORE: Share prices closed 0.56 percent lower in lacklustre trade yesterday, with investors sitting on the sidelines ahead of the Christmas holidays, dealers said.
The blue-chip Straits Times Index fell 15.78 points to 2,786.81.
DMG technical analyst James Lim said the index may continue to trade sideways in the near term.
SYDNEY: Down 0.33 percent. The S&P/ASX200 fell 15.4 points to 4,635.1.
“As expected, volumes and interest levels were low as we head into the Christmas/New Year period,” IG Markets analyst Cameron Peacock said.
SHANGHAI: Up 0.29 percent. The composite index, which covers both A and B shares, was up 9.09 points at 3,122.97.
Real estate developers suffered sharp losses last week after Beijing said it would tighten payment rules for land sales to developers.
SEOUL: Down 0.17 percent. The Kospi fell 2.81 points to 1,644.23.
Banks extended their losing streak as investors continued to lock in profits.
TAIPEI: Up 0.43 percent. The weighted index rose 33.64 points to 7,787.27.
The market faces strong resistance at 7,800 points, Grand Cathay Securities analyst Mars Hsu said.
BANGKOK: Flat. The composite index shed 0.51 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 715.17, but the blue-chip index edged up 0.42 points to 503.71.
Chai Chirasevenupraphand, an analyst from Capital Nomura Securities, said the market was sluggish as investors bought some selective shares with no fresh sentiment.
KUALA LAMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia tumbled in reaction to the mixed performances on the regional stock markets yesterday. Overall declining counters outpaced advancing counters by 395 to 205.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) fell from its intra-day high of 1,267.73 to its intra-day low of 1,255.66 yesterday. It closed at 1,255.66 points, giving a day-on-day loss of 11.31 points, or 0.89 percent.
JAKARTA: Down 3.12 percent. The composite index lost 78.18 points to 2,431.39.
The wave of profit-taking may continue today before investors start to build fresh positions next year, dealers said.
MANILA: Up 0.12 percent. The composite index added 3.57 points to close at 3,020.56 while the all-share index edged up 0.04 percent to 1,891.53.
MUMBAI: Down 0.71 percent. The 30-share Sensex fell 118.63 points to 16,601.2.
Two main stock markets witnessed a rising session after the first session of this week in the context when the investors showed their optimism and confidence. Both indexes continued increasing thanks to overflowing demand power. There were massive buying orders while no selling order left. Noticeably, the market transparency slumped due to large withholdings from the sellers.
At closing time, VN Index successfully conquered the threshold of 460 points when jumping by 17.65 points or 3.98 percent to 460.99 points. However, the market liquidity sharply dropped with a total matching order trade of 31.65 million shares for 1.131 trillion dong, down 35.6 percent in volume and 36.6 percent in value in comparison with the previous session.
Sharing the same scenario, HNX Index ended the day by increasing 7.08 points or 4.94 percent to 150.34 points with a total market trade of 14.856 million shares for 406.784 billion dong in value.
LONDON: European stock markets posted strong gains yesterday, with the London FTSE 100 index rising 1.87 percent to close at 5,293.99 points.
In Paris the CAC 40 added 2.05 percent to finish at 3,872.06 while in Frankfurt the Dax gained 1.70 percent to end the day at 5,930.53 points.
Another wave of corporate dealmaking stoked investors’ confidence in the economy and carried stocks sharply higher Monday.
Analyst upgrades of Alcoa Inc. and Intel Corp. and positive momentum on President Obama’s health care overhaul also helped drive a broad rally on the stock market. Major indexes closed off their highs of the day but still rose about 1 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped into the black for the month.
As stocks rose bond prices tumbled, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note up to its highest level since August. The dollar strengthened, hurting commodities prices.
The Dow rose 85.25, or 0.8 percent, to 10,414.14, after rising as much as 130 points earlier in the day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.58, or 1.1 percent, to 1,114.05, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 25.97, or 1.2 percent, at 2,237.66.
Bond prices sank as investors abandoned the safety of government debt in favor of stocks. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, climbed to 3.69 percent from 3.54 percent late Friday.
The dollar rose against other major currencies, making commodities more expensive for foreign buyers. Light, sweet crude for February delivery fell 70 cents to settle at $73.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold also fell.
Monday’s surge in stocks helped lift the Dow into positive territory for the month, giving it a 0.7 percent gain. Many analysts believe stocks should finish out the year strong after several weeks of listless trading.
Investors have been putting the brakes on stock buying since November, stepping back from the market following a historic rally over the past nine months.
At the same time, prospects of an interest rate hike and a potential rebound in the dollar have dogged investors who spent the year taking advantage of low rates to borrow cheaply and invest in stocks and commodities. There are also lingering questions over whether high unemployment and lackluster consumer spending will threaten the economic recovery.
Historically, though, December is the best single month for stocks, with the S&P 500 index averaging a 1.6 percent gain. So long as economic and corporate news continues to be encouraging, analysts expect the market to keep its momentum going into the new year.
Among the standout stocks on Monday, Chattem surged more than 33 percent, adding $23.16 to $93.14 after Sanofi-Aventis SA agreed to buy the company for $93.50 a share, a 34 percent premium over Friday’s closing price. Chattem, which is traded on the Nasdaq, helped lift that index to an intraday high for the year.
Also trading on the Nasdaq, Bucyrus shares soared 9.8 percent, rising $5 to $55.84. Terex rose $1.73, or 9 percent, to $20.94.
Alcoa shares shot up 7.9 percent after the announcement of the Saudi deal and Morgan Stanley’s upgrade of the stock to “Buy” based on a forecast of higher aluminum prices. Shares jumped $1.15 to $15.73, after earlier hitting a 14-month high of $15.98.
Intel shares rose 46 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $20.09.
About three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume was 1.01 billion shares compared with 3.16 billion shares at the same time on Friday.
Volume was exceptionally high Friday as several types of options contracts expired and S&P made changes to the S&P 500. That index is the basis for many indexed mutual funds, so those funds were forced to alter their holdings to match the reconstituted index.
In other trading, the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 8.03, or 1.3 percent, to 618.60.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7553 11.0824 0.0851 12.4512 7.4187 7.3019 6.8263 AUD 1.1361 1.6235 0.0125 1.824 1.0868 1.0697 0.1465 CAD 1.0621 1.5177 0.0117 1.7052 1.016 0.9349 0.137 CHF 1.0454 1.4938 0.0115 1.6784 0.9843 0.9201 0.1348 GBP 0.6229 0.8901 0.0068 0.5958 0.5864 0.5482 0.0803 JPY 91.107 130.192 146.272 87.152 85.7801 80.1924 11.7476 EUR 0.6998 0.0077 1.1235 0.6694 0.6589 0.616 0.0902 USD 1.429 0.011 1.6055 0.9566 0.9415 0.8802 0.1289 Bloomberg