Asia Roundup: Marts mostly higher after US retail data

16-Jan-2014 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 7:45 AM Print This Post

Asia’s markets mostly rose yesterday Wednesday January 15 fter a surprisingly strong batch of retail data out of the United States eased concerns about the world’s number one economy.

The better-than-forecast figures provided a springboard for a rally on Wall Street and gave some support for the dollar against the yen.

Tokyo led gainers to surge 2.50 per cent – its best performance of 2014 helping it claw back some of the losses of more than three percent suffered on Tuesday. The Nikkei ended 386.33 points higher at 15,808.73.

Sydney rose 0.64 per cent, or 33.4 points, to 5,245.4 and Seoul added 0.37 per cent, or 7.21 points, to 1,953.28. However, Shanghai closed down 0.17 per cent, or 3.49 points, at 2,023.35.

The US Commerce Department said retail sales – a key gauge of the consumer spending that drives the economy – rose 0.2 per cent in December, upending estimates of no change.

That figure is an even more impressive 0.7 per cent if a sharp fall in auto sales is taken out of the equation owing to severe cold weather across the country.

HONGKONG: STOCKS ended 0.49 per cent higher yesterday, following a lead from Wall Street after better-than-expected US retail sales data.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 110.72 points to 22,902.00.
Chinese Internet giant Tencent gained 3.14 per cent to HK$508.5 and Greatwall Motor climbed 0.29 per cent to HK$34.55, while China Mobile lost 0.52 per cent to HK$77.15.
“Investors still think that the restart of the IPO market will pressure shares,” Hongyuan Securities analyst Tang Yonggang said.

SINGAPORE: THE Straits Times Index added 19.5 points higher, or 0.62 per cent, to 3143.25.
The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.28 per cent while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index was up 0.44 per cent.
Among the top actives, SingTel added 0.29 per cent, DBS rose 0.64 per cent, Keppel Corp fell 0.09 per cent, JES gained 11.11 per cent and OCBC added 0.31 per cent.
Of the outperforming sectors, the FTSE ST Basic Materials Index rose 3.23 per cent. Of the two biggest stocks, Midas Holdings gained 1.01 per cent and Geo Energy Resources was unchanged.

KUALA LUMPUR: SHARES on Bursa Malaysia ended easier yesterday, bogged down by finance and index-linked counters following profit-taking activities.
The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished 10.94 points lower at 1,824.03 after opening at 1,834.74.
Main Market debutant IOI Properties was among the biggest gainers after its shares gained 64 sen to RM3.15. It opened at RM3.21 a share, a 70 sen premium from its reference price of RM2.51.
Overall, losers outnumbered gainers by 556 to 284, while 301 were unchanged, 411 untraded and 24 suspended.
Volume rose to 2.36 billion shares valued at RM2.70 billion from 2.07 billion shares worth RM1.74 billion on Monday.
The Finance Index lost 120.06 points to 16,678.03, the Plantation Index slipped 74.96 points to 8,561.14 and the Industrial Index shed 35.36 points to 3,084.12.
The FBM Emas Index erased 78.67 points to 12,627.31, the FBMT100 Index fell 75.98 points to 12,330.24 but the FBM ACE Index was 13.49 points higher at 6,025.64. The FBM 70 Index decreased 94.34 points to 14,011.17.
Among the actives, Iris Corp gained two sen to 44.5 sen and Sumatec Resources Bhd was up half-a-sen at 31.5 sen.
As for heavyweights, Maybank lost nine sen to RM9.81, Tenaga fell 14 sen to RM11.56 and Axiata slipped one sen to RM6.73.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contracts also closed lower on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives yesterday.
Spot month January 2014 dropped 13.5 points to 1,823 and February 2014 lost 14 points to 1,822. March 2014 shed 12 points to 1,823 and June 2014 eased 11 points to 1,819.5.
Turnover totalled 12,465 lots, higher than Monday’s close of 4,727 lots, while open interest rose to 50,743 contracts from 42,692 contracts previously.

In other markets:

* Bangkok lost 1.45 per cent, or 18.84 points, to 1,277.03. Coal producer Banpu dropped 4.46 per cent to 26.75 baht, while Airports of Thailand gained 4.08 per cent to 166 baht.

* Jakarta gained 1.16 per cent, or 50.82 points, to 4,441.60. Mobile provider Indosat added 6.18 per cent to 4,295 rupiah, while paper firm Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia fell 3.63 per cent to 1,725 rupiah.

* Taipei rose 0.64 per cent, or 54.41 points, to 8602.55. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co added 1.45 per cent to T$105 while leading chip design house MediaTek was 0.84 per cent higher at T$419.

* Manila added 0.38 per cent, or 22.56 points, to 5,958.12. Ayala Corp added 1.24 per cent to close at 530 pesos and Aboitiz Equity Ventures rose 2.26 per cent at 54.20 pesos.

* Mumbai jumped 1.22 per cent, or 256.61 points, to 21,289.49. Larsen and Toubro rose 2.71 per cent to 998.8 rupees while private ICICI Bank rose two per cent to 1,058.35 rupees.

* Wellington jumped 0.98 per cent, or 47.88 points, to 4,913.03.

VIETNAM: Vietnamese stocks extended gain for the ninth straight day with support of blue chips, SSI led, liquidity rose.
The benchmark VN Index added 4.37 points or 0.84% to 526.68. Volume rose 34% to 127.3 million worth of VND1.863 trillion. Put-through trading contributed 1.4 million shares worth of VND35.69 billion.
We saw 0.4 million KDC shares changed hands at the ceiling level of VND53,000 each, and 0.3 million FLC shares changed hands at VND9,500 each.
The market breadth was positive with 117 gainers, 83 losers and 87 unchanged.
The VN30 rose 2.48 points or 0.43% to 583.07. Among 30 constituents, 12 gained, 9 fell, 9 stood still.
Market opened in the green with 6.6 million shares changed hands. Trading was active from early trade as both buyers and sellers wanted to show conviction. Trading rose in selective stocks and blue chips which boosted the market liquidity and trading value. The market closed off the high but well above the open level.
The most impressive performer today was Tan Tao Investment – Industry Corporation (ITA) which limited up with 23 million shares changed hands.
Saigon Securities Inc. (SSI) took the leadership for a third straight day and share price briefly hit the ceiling level before paring some gains at the close with 7.2 million shares changed hands.
A series of blue chips posted strong gain today including CNG, FPT, HCM, HPG, HSG.
Property stocks were also strong, KBC limited up with high demand, SJS rose again, closing just 1 price line behind the ceiling level.
Top 5 large caps, which accounted for roughly 50% of market capitalization were firm, GAS, MSN, VNM gained, while VCB, VIC stood still.
Banking shares were mixed VCB, STB, CTG stood still, MBB gained, EIB lost.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX gained 1.01 points or 1.4% to 72.7. Trading volume rose 50% to 71.2 million shares worth VND705 billion.
The breadth was still positive with 141 gainers, 77 losers, 65 unchanged and the rest untraded.
The HNX30 added 3.02 points or 2.19% to 140.93.

EUROPE: European stocks rose yesterday as the World Bank declared the global economy was at a turning point, while the luxury goods sector was boosted by sparkling results from Burberry.
Sentiment was also bolstered by German economic growth data and positive US retail sales numbers.
London’s FTSE 100 index of top companies added 0.35 per cent to stand at 6,790.43 points and Paris’ CAC 40 won 0.58 per cent to 4,299.12 nearing midday deals. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index rallied 1.07 per cent to 9,642.84 points, compared with Tuesday’s closing values.
The World Bank declared yesterday that the global economy was “finally turning the corner five years after the global financial crisis” and hiked its latest economic growth forecasts.
Global economic growth was estimated to hit 3.2 per cent this year, accelerating from a 2.4 per cent annual pace in 2013.

AMERICA:  It was a stock market squeaker.

After piercing its all-time high in early trading, then yo-yoing below and above that level several times during the day, the Standard and Poor’s 500 index on Wednesday managed to eke out a record at the close, besting the old one by just two-hundredths of a point.

Financial and technology companies had some of the biggest gains. Bank stocks rose after Bank of America reported that its profit surged to $3.44 billion in the fourth quarter. Apple was up nearly 2 percent.

Investors have been worried stocks would stall in the new year after a surge of nearly 30 percent in the S&P 500 last year. The first few trading days in 2014 seemed to confirm their fears. As of the close of trading Monday, the S&P 500 was down 1.6 percent.

But a combination of positive economic reports and strong earnings on Wednesday sent all three major indexes higher.

The S&P 500 gained 9.50 points, or 0.52 percent, to 1,848.38. The last closing high was 1,848.36 on Dec. 31, 2013. With Wednesday’s rise, the index is now basically flat for the year. In 2013 the S&P 500 closed at record highs 45 times.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 108.08 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,481.94. It is 94.72 points from its closing high, just one good up day away. The Nasdaq composite rose 31.87 points, or 0.76 percent, to 4,214.88. The tech-heavy index is still 16 percent below its high during the dot-com bubble more than a decade ago.

Bank of America climbed 2.3 percent after it reported a jump in earnings. The loans on its balance sheet continue to improve, and the bank’s provision for credit losses fell to $336 million, from $2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier. Even its mortgage division, which took huge losses after the housing bubble popped, improved.

Apple rose 2 percent, and Microsoft by 2.7 percent. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company had sold a record number of iPhones in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in the last three months of 2013. On Friday, Apple plans to start selling its iPhone in China through China Mobile, the world’s largest cellphone carrier.

Seven of the 10 industries in the S&P 500 closed higher, led by telecommunications, information technology and financial services. The three were each up more than 1 percent.

Whether stocks can climb more in the coming days depends partly on corporate earnings reports now coming out for the fourth quarter of last year. Companies reporting on Thursday include Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, American Express and Intel.

After years of squeezing more and more profit out of every dollar of revenue, companies will have to lift that top line to hit their earnings targets for this year, said Joseph S. Tanious, global market strategist at JPMorgan. But he’s optimistic. “You will see strong revenue growth,” he said.

Tanious said a 4 percent to 6 percent increase in S&P 500 earnings per share this year shouldn’t be “too difficult.”

Financial analysts expect S&P 500 earnings per share to increase 5.6 percent for the fourth quarter, and 9.8 percent for all four quarters of the new year, according to S&P Capital IQ. Revenue growth for both periods is expected to be half the earnings growth.

Stocks were also pushed higher Wednesday by some encouraging economic reports.

A survey by the New York branch of the Federal Reserve found that manufacturing conditions in the region were improving.

A separate report from the Federal Reserve found that economic growth remained healthy in most regions of the country, helping bolster the belief that economic growth will pick up in the coming months. The report followed one on Tuesday showing strong retail sales during the holiday season.

Two so-called safe-have assets fell on the positive economic news. Bond prices fell, pushing the yield on the 10-year Treasury note up to 2.89 percent from 2.87 percent on Tuesday. Gold fell $7.10, or 0.6 percent, to $1,238.30 an ounce

In other news, U.S. wholesale prices increased in December, as gasoline prices rose along with other energy costs. Overall inflation remained mild. The Labor Department said the producer price index, which measures costs before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month.

Other stocks that had big moves:

— Netflix, the movie-streaming service, fell more than 2 percent to $330.38 out of concern that the company may someday have to pay broadband providers for its subscribers’ heavy use of data. A court ruling this week gave broadband access providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon more flexibility to charge big bandwidth users higher prices. Investors also worried that Netflix might pass along any new costs to subscribers in the form of higher fees.

— Fastenal, an industrial supply company, dropped the most in the S&P 500, down 4.5 percent, after reporting that it missed fourth-quarter earnings by a penny. The stock slumped $2.15 to $46.06.

— Shares of 3-D printer company ExOne fell $5.41, or 9 percent, to $56.85 after cutting its revenue forecast for the year. The North Huntington, Pa., company cited deferred orders from international customers.

Benchmark Currency Rates



1.3596 0.0095 1.6357 1.0994 0.9126 0.8809 0.1290


0.7355 0.0070 1.2029 0.8085 0.6714 0.6482 0.0948


104.8200 142.5100 171.4130 115.2000 95.6550 92.3590 13.5179


0.6114 0.8313 0.0058 0.6721 0.5581 0.5388 0.0788


0.9096 1.2367 0.0087 1.4878 0.8304 0.8018 0.1173


1.0956 1.4896 0.0105 1.7918 1.2043 0.9654 0.1413


1.1343 1.5429 0.0108 1.8558 1.2474 1.0361 0.1463


7.7543 10.5430 0.0740 12.6840 8.5240 7.0779 6.8335

Source: Bloomberg


Category: FinanceAsia

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