Markets in Asia rose yesterday on hopes that a meeting of European leaders will finally lead to a plan that will bring an end to the crippling eurozone debt crisis.
Investors are holding their breath ahead of the two-day summit that starts today, with investors optimistic after France and Germany on Monday agreed a deal for further integration, which many see as the best solution.
In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index gained 147.01 points, or 1.71 percent, to close at 8,722.17.
“… so far we see signs that eurozone nations are working together,” Hideyuki Ishiguro, supervisor at investment strategy at Okasan Securities, said. “That’s giving the market some sense of relief.”
In Shanghai, the composite index ended up 6.82 points, or 0.29 percent, at 2,332.73.
“Investors are increasingly worried that the (Chinese) economy will slow down significantly, and the overall mood of the market is not optimistic,” Li Lei, an analyst at Gold State Securities, said.
Sydney rose 0.72 percent, adding 30.5 points to end at 4,292.5, and Seoul climbed 0.87 percent, or 16.60 points, to 1,919.42.
HONG KONG: Shares closed 1.58 percent higher yesterday with dealers cautiously optimistic European leaders will be able to agree a solution to the eurozone debt crisis.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 298.35 points to 19,240.58, closing at the highest in three weeks.
“”It’s been a very derivative-driven market,” said Alex Wong, Ample Finance Group’s director of asset management.
SINGAPORE: Most Southeast Asian stock markets rose yesterday on optimism that European leaders will take strong steps to resolve the region’s debt crisis.
In Singapore, the benchmark Straits Times Index added 1.21 percent, or 33.31 points, to 2,782.55, hovering around its highest since mid-November.
Among individual stocks, property developer CapitaLand Ltd rose 2.4 percent and DBS Group Holdings was 2.57 percent higher.
KUALA LUMPUR: Share prices on Bursa Malaysia ended on a firmer note yesterday after mixed trading throughout the day, up in line with an optimistic global equity market hoping for steps to contain the debt crisis at the European Union summit tomorrow, dealers said.
At the close, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) staged a rebound to end 2.07 points higher at 1,482.99 after opening 0.33 point lower at 1,480.59.
The dealers said the market made a cautious rebound and was up in tandem with steadier regional bourses, after profit-taking activities yesterday.
In other markets:
* Taipei ended 76.72 points, or 1.10 percent, higher at 7,033.00.
* Manila gained 32.40 points, or 0.76 percent, to 4,315.17.
* Jakarta rose 40.56 points, or 1.08 percent, to 3,793.24.
* Bangkok rose 15.96 points, or 1.55 percent, to 1,046.73.
* Mumbai rose 71.73 points or 0.43 percent at 16,877.06.
VIETNAM: The VN Index of Hochiminh Stock Exchange (STC) dropped 0.77 percent to 387.21 pts. The trading volume reached nearly 31 million shares worth nearly 407 billion dong, down 20 percent in value from the previous trading session.
On the northern bourse, the HNX Index also slipped 0.43 percent to 62.51pts.
The trading volume decreased to 26 million units valued at over 245 billion dong, down 36 percent in value from the last trading session (380 billion dong).
EUROPE: EUROPEAN shares were higher early yesterday afternoon, having trimmed opening gains as caution returned to the market ahead of a meeting of European leaders later this week.
“This slightly better tone is in line with cautious optimism that the EU summit could lay the groundwork for a solution for the eurozone crisis,” said Rabobank analyst Jane Foley.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent at 993.24 points at 1237 GMT, after hitting 1,002.20, its highest level since late October.
London’s FTSE 100 index jumped 0.66 percent to 5,605.72 nearing midday, while Frankfurt’s DAX 30 gained 0.95 percent to 6,085.88 and Paris’ CAC 40 advanced 1.50 percent to 3,227.33. Madrid won 1.16 percent and Milan 1.29 percent.
AMERICA: Optimism about a European debt-crisis summit this week rose and fell on Wednesday, but U.S. stock indexes barely budged. The Dow Jones industrial average closed 46 points higher, while other indicators were mixed.
Hopes have been building for the summit, which wraps up Friday. Traders hope it will generate a lasting solution to the two-year-old debt crisis.
On Wednesday, French and German leaders sought to downplay those expectations. Traders hope that European countries will link their budgets more closely and impose greater fiscal discipline on heavily indebted nations like Greece. Officials said Wednesday that a deal this week might include only some countries, and crafting a fuller plan might take until Christmas.
“The pattern has been, get your hopes up, then be disappointed by EU summits, and that pattern has been in place for a while,” said Steve Van Order, fixed income strategist at Calvert Investment Management.
The Dow rose 46.24 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 12,196.37. Its biggest gains came from financial companies. JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 2.3 percent, Bank of America Corp. rose 1.9 percent and insurance giant Travelers Cos. Inc. rose 1.8 percent. Machinery maker Caterpillar Inc. fell 1.1 percent, the most in the Dow 30.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.54 points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,261.01. The Nasdaq composite index lost 0.35, or 0.01 percent, to 2,649.21.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.03 percent from 2.09 percent late Tuesday.
Traders have been growing restless with the delays in getting a resolution to Europe’s debt crisis. Rating agencies have warned of possible downgrades for nations using the euro if they do not quickly set a firm plan for solving the two-year-old ordeal.
In Europe, yields on Spanish and Italian government debt rose. That means investors are demanding higher returns because of fears that one of those nations might default. Borrowing costs for Spain and Italy had fallen sharply until Tuesday, having reached dangerously high levels a week earlier. European stocks were mostly lower. Germany’s DAX fell 0.6 percent, Britain’s FTSE 0.4 percent.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7732 10.4137 0.1001 12.2000 8.4080 7.6932 7.9595 - AUD 0.9766 1.3083 0.0126 1.5328 1.0563 0.9665 - 0.1256 CAD 1.0104 1.3536 0.0130 1.5858 1.0929 - 1.0346 0.1300 CHF 0.9245 1.2385 0.0119 1.4510 - 0.9150 0.9467 0.1189 GBP 0.6372 0.8536 0.0082 - 0.6892 0.6306 0.6524 0.0820 JPY 77.6665 104.043 - 121.896 84.0083 76.8663 79.5274 9.9915 EUR 0.7464 - 0.0096 1.1715 0.8074 0.7388 0.7643 0.0960 USD - 1.3397 0.0129 1.5695 1.0817 0.9897 1.0240 0.1286 Bloomberg