Asian stock markets were mixed yesterday Thursday Dec 16 as traders weighed upbeat US data against a potentially deepening eurozone crisis and the possibility of further steps by China to cool its economy.
TOKYO’s Nikkei index ended the session flat, gaining just 1.51 points to reach 10,311.29, while SYDNEY’s S&P/ASX 200 closed up 0.34 percent, or 16.2 points, at 4,784.00.
SHANGHAI: the composite index fell 0.46 percent, or 13.27 points, to 2,898.14.
Markets found some support from a strengthening dollar and data showing that US industrial output rose by a robust 0.4 percent in November after a revised 0.2 perc ent decline in October.
“If the trend for a weaker yen becomes more explicit on the back of a recovery in US economic conditions and rise in US bond yields, we anticipate a year-end rally in stocks,” Masayoshi Yano, senior market analyst at Meiwa Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
In Tokyo, exporter stocks such as Canon, Toshiba, Hitachi and Honda all rose, helped by a weaker yen, although Toyota, Panasonic and Sony fell.
Shanghai was in more sober mood after rallying 2.88 percent on Monday on relief that a widely expected interest rate rise had failed to materialise over the weekend.
Helping sentiment in Sydney was a decision by Australia’s competition regulator giving conditional approval for an alliance between Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand.
US stocks closed lower on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.17 percent and the broader S&P 500 index down 0.51 percent.
HONG KONG: Stocks extended this week’s slide yesterday, putting the Hang Seng at risk of wiping out its slim gains for the year after risk-averse investors pushed the benchmark index below a key support level.
The Hang Seng slid 1.3 percent to 22,668.78 points.
“The market is unexpectedly weak. Volumes are still light, but the breach of 22,800 is a little worrying,” said Wong. ,” said Jackson Wong, an investment manager at local brokerage Tanrich Securities.
SINGAPORE: Most Southeast Asian stock markets fell yesterday on concern over the global economy.
In Singapore, the equity market closed flat after trading in a narrow range. The Straits Times Index rose 0.01 percent, or 0.47 points, to 3,147.67 points.
Banking major DBS Group rose 22 cents to S$14.12, while Singapore Telecommunications was flat at S$3.09.
KUALA LAMPUR: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) extended its follow-through consolidation yesterday. On the broader market, decliners outpaced advancers by 472 to 257.
The FBM KLCI fell from its intra-day high of 1,507.19 to its intra-day low of 1,495.39 yesterday, closing at 1,497.52 points,with a day-on-day loss of 11.58 points, or 0.77 percent.
In other markets:
MANILA fell 1.23 percent, or 50.35 points, to 4,039.40.
SEOUL fell 0.41 percent, or 8.24 points, to 2,009.24.
TAIPEI rose 0.29 percent, or 25.49 points, to 8,782.20.
JAKARTA fell 2.37 percent, or 86.58 points, to 3,571.74.
BANGKOK fell 0.57 percent, or 5.87 points, to 1,029.60.
MUMBAI rose 1.10 percent, or 217.08 points, to 19,864.85 as investors cheered a central bank decision to keep key interest rates on hold.
VIETNAM: the VN index of Hochiminh Stock Exchange (STC) dropped by 13.26 points or 2.69 percent to 480.21 points. Similarly, the HNX index decreased by 5.17 points or 4.29 percent to 115.43 points.
EUROPE: European shares were higher yesterday, with gains limited ahead of a European Union leaders meeting.
Trading was expected to be volatile due to “quadruple witching”, the expiry of index and individual stock futures and options.
By 0951 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was 0.4 percent higher at 1,131.58 points, after ending its longest winning run in six months on Wednesday.
“Spain is going to be the issue, with the threat of a downgrade, investors will be looking for comments from the EU meeting,” Will Hedden, a sales trader at IG Index, said.
Across Europe, the FTSE 100 index was 0.4 percent higher, Germany’s DAX was 0.1 percent higher and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent.
Spain’s IBEX 35 was 0.2 percent higher, but Portugal’s PSI 20 and Italy’s benchmark both fell 0.2 percent.
AMERICA: A small drop in unemployment claims and a higher profit forecast by FedEx Corp. helped push stocks to two-year highs Thursday.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 41.78, or 0.4 percent, to 11,499.25. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 7.64, or 0.6 percent, to 1,242.87. The Nasdaq composite rose 20.09, or 0.8, to 2,637.31.
Stocks have had a strong December. The Dow index has gained 4.5 over the last month. The S&P 500 has risen 5.3 percent.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 3.42 percent from 3.53 percent the day before. Investors have been selling Treasurys as their outlook on the economy improves, sending yields on the bonds higher. The 10-year yield traded as low as 2.49 percent as recently as Nov. 4.
The dollar fell 0.2 percent against an index of six heavily traded currencies. Gold fell 1.1 percent.
Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 4.4 billion shares.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7763 10.3009 0.0926 12.1512 8.0623 7.7351 7.7040 - AUD 1.0094 1.3371 0.0120 1.5773 1.0465 1.0040 - 0.1298 CAD 1.0053 1.3317 0.0120 1.5709 1.0423 - 0.9960 0.1293 CHF 0.9645 1.2777 0.0115 1.5072 - 0.9594 0.9556 0.1240 GBP 0.6400 0.8477 0.0076 - 0.6635 0.6366 0.6340 0.0823 JPY 83.9705 111.231 - 131.212 87.0585 83.5253 83.1896 10.7983 EUR 0.7549 - 0.0090 1.1796 0.7827 0.7509 0.7479 0.0971 USD - 1.3247 0.0119 1.5626 1.0368 0.9947 0.9907 0.1286 Bloomberg