A rise on Wall Street and reports that the Bank of Japan may further loosen monetary policy helped Asian shares higher yesterday Friday March 5 ahead of the release of key US jobs data.
However, apprehension remained as China warned it would slash lending in a bid to tame asset prices, as Beijing tries to balance rapid economic expansion with a delicate transition from huge stimulus measures.
TOKYO soared 2.20 percent, or 223.24 points, to 10,368.96 on a report by the Nikkei business daily that the Bank of Japan will likely consider more monetary easing, or steps to increase liquidity to stimulate the economy, through April.
HONG KONG: Stocks rose yesterday as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he wanted to maintain economic growth on the mainland in a speech opening a key parliamentary session.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 1.03 percent, or 212.19 points, to close at 20,787.97. Turnover was HK$69.51 billion.
Bargain hunting in HSBC led the Hong Kong rally. The banking giant rose 0.9 percent to HK$81.80
SINGAPORE: Asian markets were given a strong cue from Wall Street, where US stocks rose 0.46 percent.
Singapore’s STI index closed 0.78 percent or 21.59 points higher at 2,790.29.
Singapore Airlines closed 66 cents higher at S$15.90 while Singapore Telecommunications was two cents up at S$3.07.
SEOUL closed up 1.01 percent or 16.37 points at 1,634.57.
Sydney added 0.35 percent or 16.7 points to 4,767.2 in cautious trade ahead of the release of US non-farm payrolls data later yesterday.
SHANGHAI closed 0.25 percent, or 7.69 points higher at 3,031.07.
BEIJING yesterday predicted 8 percent growth this year for the economic giant, as Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to maintain “moderately loose” monetary policy and the “basic stability” of the yuan exchange rate to support growth.
“Investors are getting some reassurance from the premier’s speech that the government’s focus is on putting the economy on a sound footing,” said an analyst.
KUALA LAMPUR: THE FTSE Bursa Malaysia Composite Index (FBM KLCI) staged a follow-through rebound in tandem with the rebounds on the regional stock markets. It continued to stay above its critical support of 1,250 when it closed at 1,299.78 yesterday.
The FBM KLCI opened marginally higher at 1,278.29 before rebounding to its intra-day high of 1,284.97 on Monday. It closed higher at 1,283.40, giving a day-on-day gain of 12.62 points, or 0.99 percent.
In other markets:
MANILA suffered a series of technical glitches that interrupted trading, which was extended by an hour.
The exchange’s website quoted the index as closing 35.91 points higher at 3,040.92.
TAIPEI closed up 1.27 percent, or 96.46 points at 7,666.26.
JAKARTA closed up 0.51 percent, or 13.13 points, to 2,578.77.
WELLINGTON closed flat, edging 1.09 points higher to 3,214.64.
BANGKOK fell 0.94 percent, or 6.86 points, to close at 723.96.
MUMBAI rose 0.13 percent, or 22.79 points, to 16,994.49.
The market was lifted by premier Manmohan Singh saying the economy would grow at least 8 percent in the year to March 2011, while sentiment was also helped after New Delhi said prospects for the winter crop were encouraging.
VIETNAM: The VN Index bounced 1.48 points or 0.29 percent to 513.39 pts with the total matching order trade of 44.09 million shares worth 1.918 trillion dong.
The northern bourse regained 170 point threshold as the HNX Index rallied 1.8 points or 1.07 percent to end at 170.16 pts with the total market trade of 31.61 million shares worth 1.124 trillion dong,
EUROPE: Smaller-than-expected cut in US jobs in February and easing concerns over the fiscal situation in Greece helped European equities to hit six-week high yesterday, with banks building on recent hefty gains.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares advanced for a sixth straight session to provisionally finish 1.7 percent higher at 1,054.49 points after touching 1,054.60 – the highest since January 21.
The benchmark index recorded its biggest one-day gain in three months and rose 4.7 percent during the week.
London’s main FTSE 100 index was up 1.31 percent at 5,599.76 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 jumped 2.14 percent to 3,910.42 points and in Frankfurt, the DAX gained 1.42 percent to 5,877.36 points.
Stocks jumped Friday after the government’s employment report showed fewer jobs were cut in February than expected.
The Dow rose 122.06, or 1.2 percent, to 10,566.20, its highest close since Jan. 20. It was the Dow’s best point and percentage gain since Feb. 16.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose for a sixth straight day, rising 15.73, or 1.4 percent, to 1,138.70. The Nasdaq composite index added 34.04, or 1.5 percent, to 2,326.35.
Five stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume rose to 4.2 billion shares from 4 billion Thursday.
For the week, the Dow rose 2.3 percent, its best advance since the week ended Feb. 19. The S&P 500 index jumped 3.1 percent and the Nasdaq rose 3.9 percent. The indexes erased their losses for 2010 during the week.
Bank of America Corp. rose 30 cents to $16.70, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. climbed 89 cents to $42.81.
After announcing the launch date for the iPad, Apple rose $8.24, or 3.9 percent, to $218.95. It rose as high as $219.70 during trading.
The dollar fell against other major currencies, while gold rose.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 13.55, or 2.1 percent, to 666.02.
Benchmark Currency Rates USD EUR JPY GBP CHF CAD AUD HKD HKD 7.7626 10.5769 0.086 11.7505 7.2264 7.5453 7.0461 AUD 1.1017 1.5011 0.0122 1.6677 1.0256 1.0708 0.1419 CAD 1.0288 1.4018 0.0114 1.5573 0.9577 0.9338 0.1325 CHF 1.0742 1.4637 0.0119 1.626 1.0441 0.9751 0.1384 GBP 0.6606 0.9001 0.0073 0.615 0.6421 0.5996 0.0851 JPY 90.278 123.008 136.656 84.0421 87.7508 81.9453 11.6299 EUR 0.7339 0.0081 1.111 0.6832 0.7134 0.6662 0.0945 USD 1.3626 0.0111 1.5137 0.9309 0.972 0.9077 0.1288 Bloomberg