The US dollar rebounded against the yen yesterday August 13 after Tokyo leaders made a “verbal intervention” over the Japanese unit’s strength as stocks edged higher on bargain hunting after three days of losses.
Prime Minister Kan on Thursday said the yen’s advance was too “rapid” and agreed with his right-hand man and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku to closely monitor the issue.
On stock markets Tokyo closed 0.44 percent higher, adding 40.87 points to 9,253.46, while Sydney jumped 1.33 percent, or 58.7 points, to 4,459.6.
SHANGHAI rose 1.21 percent, or 31.23 points, to 2,606.70 and Seoul closed 1.42 percent, or 24.49 points, higher at 1,746.24.
Dealers moved to pick up bargains after three days of heavy losses caused by weak economic data from Europe, the US and China.
However, they were given a poor lead from Wall Street, where the Dow dropped 0.57 percent after fresh data showed US jobless claims jumped last week to the highest level in about six months.
HONG KONG: Traders could not shake growing concerns over the world outlook, ending down 0.16 percent, or 34.14 points, at 21,071.57, its fourth straight loss.
SINGAPORE closed up 0.44 percent, or 12.93 points, at 2,939.97.
Wilmar International fell 2.34 percent to S$6.13 while Jardine Cycle and Carriage gained 1.02 percent to 33.60.
Shares in Singapore’s banks also recovered marginally with 0.3 percent rise in top lender DBS Group, a 0.1 percent gain in United Overseas Bank and a 0.4 percent rise in Oversea Chinese Banking Corp.
KUALA LUMPUR: The FTSE Bursa Malaysia Composite Index (FBM KLCI) continued to consolidate its recent rebound gains for the second consecutive weeks. It continued to stay above its psychological resistance of 1,300 when it closed at 1,360.15 points yesterday.
The FBM KLCI consolidated within tight trading ranges on Monday. It trended between its intra-day high of 1,361.84 to its intra-day low of 1,358.35 points. It closed at 1,360.66 points, giving a day-on-day gain of 0.21 point, or 0.02 percent.
Once again, share prices on Bursa Malaysia continued to consolidate its recent gains on Tuesday.
In other markets:
TEIPEI rose 0.79 percent, or 61.79 points, to 7,891.58.
HTC rose 1.03 percent to NT$590.0 Taiwan while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co fell 0.17 percent to 60.1.
MANILA fell 0.39 percent, or 13.50 points, to 3,469.52.
Investment holding firm DMCI Holdings fell 1.5 percent to 20.35 pesos and property developer Ayala Land was down 2.0 percent at 14.88.
JAKARTA rose 0.90 percent,or 27.36 points, to 3,053.01.
WELLINGTON rose 0.27 percent, or 8.22 points, to 3,015.13.
VIETNAM: The VN Index dropped by 7.68 points or 1.71 percent to 440.72 points with total trading volume of 2.8 million shares for over 83 billion dong.
It regained the threshold of 450 points when surging by 4.33 points or 0.97 percent to end at 452.73 points. The market liquidity decreased against the previous session with 38.9 million shares being transferred with total value of one trillion dong.
The HNX Index surged by 2.94 points or 2.23 percent to end at 134.97 points with total market trade of 39.16 million shares for 963 billion dong.
EUROPE: Shares made modest gains for a second straight day yesterday, but finished lower for the week as investors continued to worry about the strength of the economic recovery.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares rose 0.2 percent to a provisional close of 1,045.14 points, having moved in and out of positive territory during the session.
Over the week, the index fell 1.1 percent, its biggest decline in six weeks.
In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 index of leading shares edged up 0.18 percent to 5,275.44 points but other markets were mostly lower, with the Paris CAC 40 down 0.28 percent to 3,610.91 points and the Frankfurt DAX off 0.40 perc ent to 6,110.41 points.
While the strong German and European growth figures were welcomed, analysts cautioned that the outlook was less certain, especially with the weaker eurozone countries still struggling to get back on track.
AMERICA: Stocks extended their losing streak to four days Friday after a mixed batch of readings on consumers further muddled investors’ sense of the economy.
The major stock indexes fluctuated throughout the day before closing slightly lower. The Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 17 points and has now lost almost 400 over four days. It was a typically slow summer Friday, but only partly due to vacations. Traders who were working had little reason to make any major moves because of economic data that remains confusing.
One of the biggest obstacles to a strong economic recovery is weak consumer spending. Friday’s reports about consumers’ attitudes and spending didn’t point to a shopping rebound anytime soon.
The Commerce Department said that retail sales rose 0.4 percent in July. That was an improvement after two months of sales declines. But the number was just below economists’ forecast of a gain of 0.5 percent. While the report showed strength in auto sales due to buyers’ incentives, it also showed that consumers are shying away from other purchases.
The Dow fell 16.80, or 0.2 percent, to 10,303.15. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 4.36, or 0.4 percent, to 1,079.25. The Nasdaq composite index fell 16.79, or 0.8 percent, to 2,173.48.
Losing stocks were ahead of gainers by almost 4 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to an extremely light 3.35 billion shares, down from Thursday’s 4 billion.
Interest rates in the Treasury market showed investors’ uneasiness. Rates, which move in the opposite direction from prices, have fallen as investors seek a safe place for their money.
The yield on the Treasury’s 10-year note, which is used to set rates on consumer loans including mortgages, was 2.68 percent Friday, down from late Wednesday’s 2.75 percent. A week ago, the yield stood at 2.82 percent, and on Aug. 2, the first trading day of the month, it was 2.97 percent.
Stocks drew some support from the announcements of two planned corporate acquisitions. Asset manager Blackstone Group is paying $542.7 million to take power plant owner Dynegy Inc. private. The deal also calls for Blackstone to assume more than $4 billion in Dynegy’s debt. Dynegy will also sell four power plants to NRG Energy Inc.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7724 9.9131 0.0902 12.119 7.3956 7.46 6.9398 AUD 1.12 1.4284 0.013 1.7463 1.0657 1.075 0.1441 CAD 1.0419 1.3288 0.0121 1.6245 0.9914 0.9303 0.134 CHF 1.051 1.3404 0.0122 1.6386 1.0087 0.9384 0.1352 GBP 0.6414 0.818 0.0074 0.6103 0.6156 0.5726 0.0825 JPY 86.196 109.94 134.397 82.017 82.730 76.962 11.090 EUR 0.7841 0.0091 1.2225 0.746 0.7525 0.7001 0.1009 USD 1.2754 0.0116 1.5592 0.9515 0.9598 0.8929 0.1287 Bloomberg