Sovereign debt fears eased in Asian markets yesterday Friday March 26 as investors mulled a financing plan to help debt-laden Greece, while Japanese stocks were boosted by a weaker yen.
European leaders clinched a deal late Thursday that would see eurozone countries provide a safety net of loans worth upwards of e20 billion backed by the International Monetary Fund for debt-hit nations such as Greece.
Asian markets “had a mixed lead into the market given that the Dow (Jones Industrial Average) gave up all of its gains on political concerns around Greece,” Goldman Sachs JB Were investment adviser Peter Sigley told Dow Jones Newswires.
TOKYO: The weaker dollar bolstered Japanese exporters, with Tokyo shares closing at their highest level since October 2008 as investors shrugged off data showing consumer prices falling for the 12th straight month.
The Nikkei closed up 1.6 percent, or 167.52 points, at 10,996.37.
HONG KONG: Stocks closed up 1.32 percent yesterday on the back of gains in China and news that eurozone members had come to an agreement to help debt-laden Greece.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 274.56 points to 21,053.11.
SINGAPORE: Stocks finished 0.62 percent higher although stronger-than-expected factory output in February fuelled expectations of policy tightening next month.
The benchmark Straits Times Index closed up 17.91 points, at 2,906.28.
CapitaLand gained 2.28 percent to S$4.03 and DBS Group Holdings added 1.1 percent to S$14.60
Analysts said they expect the market to trade in a tight range in the short term in the absence of clearer direction.
SHANGHAI: Shares in Shanghai closed up 1.34 perc ent, reversing the previous session’s losses, as relatively cheap prices and strong earnings spurred buying interest in banks, dealers said.
The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers both A and B shares, was up 40.54 points at 3,059.72.
SYDNEY: Sydney recovered from earlier losses to close up 0.24 percent, or 11.5 points, at 4,896.9.
KUALA LAMPUR: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Composite Index (FBM KLCI) resumed its technical rebound over the last five trading days. Once again, it stayed above its psychological support of 1,300 points when it closed at 1,315.14 yesterday.
The index opened relatively unchanged at 1,296.38 before falling down to its intra-day low of 1,292.26 on Monday. It closed marginally lower at 1,293.65, giving a day-on-day loss of 2.95 points, or 0.23 percent.
In other markets:
SEOUL closed up 0.55 percent, or 9.33 points, at 1,697.72.
TAIPEI ended 0.49 percent, or 38.76 points, higher at 7,876.86.
JAKARTA gained 0.50 percent, or 13.93 points, to 2,813.08.
MANILA closed up 0.30 percent, or 9.54 points, to 3,180.68, its highest close in 25 months.
BANGKOK lost 0.70 percent or 5.52 points to close at 778.86.
MUMBAI logged its seventh straight weekly gain, rising 0.5 percent, with financials and carmakers leading the gainers. The 30-share BSE index closed 0.49 percent or 85.91 points higher at 17,644.76 points, its best close since January 6.
EUROPE: European shares closed lower yesterday, with drugmakers giving up some recent gains, and energy companies lower on weaker crude prices after data showed that the US economy grew weaker than expected last quarter.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading European shares fell 0.6 percent to a provisional close of 1,076.60 points, having hit its highest close since early October 2008 in the previous session.
Over the week, the index rose 1 percent, notching up its fourth straight weekly gain.
Across Europe, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day down 0.43 percent at 5,703.02 points, the Paris CAC 40 fell 0.29 percent to 3,988.93 points and the Frankfurt Dax lost 0.21 percent to finish at 6,120.05 points.
AMERICA: Stocks closed mixed for a second day after investors grew pessimistic about the market’s ability to keep its rally going.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 9 points Friday. It had been up as much as 68 after European leaders announced a plan to help Greece with its debts. A similar advance and retreat occurred Thursday. Analysts see that pattern as a sign of an overheated market. The Dow has climbed 16 of the last 21 days.
Major stock indexes still managed to rise for a fourth straight week.
According to preliminary calculations, the Dow rose 9.15, or 0.1 percent, to 10,850.36. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.86, or 0.1 percent, to 1,166.59, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 2.28, or 0.1 percent, to 2,395.13.
For the week, the Dow is up 1 percent, the S&P 500 index rose 0.6 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.9 percent.
Advancing stocks outpaced those that rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1 billion shares, compared with 1.2 billion Thursday.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 0.13, or less than 0.1 percent, to 678.97.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7625 10.4091 0.0839 11.5642 7.2874 7.5611 7.0177 AUD 1.1061 1.4833 0.012 1.6479 1.0384 1.0774 0.1425 CAD 1.0266 1.3767 0.0111 1.5294 0.9638 0.9281 0.1323 CHF 1.0652 1.4284 0.0115 1.5869 1.0376 0.963 0.1372 GBP 0.6713 0.9001 0.0073 0.6302 0.6538 0.6068 0.0865 JPY 92.518 124.062 137.828 86.8551 90.1182 83.6409 11.9186 EUR 0.7457 0.0081 1.111 0.7001 0.7264 0.6742 0.0961 USD 1.341 0.0108 1.4898 0.9388 0.9741 0.904 0.1288 Bloomberg