Asia Roundup: Up as marts take cue from Wall Street

15-Feb-2014 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 9:12 AM Print This Post

Asian stock markets saw broad gains yesterday Friday February 14, making a strong finish to the week as they took their lead from Wall Street, which shrugged off lacklustre United Ststes economic data.

Global markets have rallied this week, after a tumultuous period caused by the US Federal Reserve’s decision to reduce its stimulus programme for a second time in two months.

Sydney closed up 0.91 per cent, or 48.2 points, to 5,356.3 in a rally that came despite mixed earnings results, and Seoul’s benchmark index gained 0.69 per cent, or 13.32 points, to end the day’s trading at 1,940,28 points.

Shanghai added 0.83 per cent to 2,115.85 points.

Tokyo stocks bucked the trend, closing down 1.53 per cent, or 221.71 points, to 14,313.03 as the yen strengthened on the back of the disappointing US retail sales and jobless figures, which raised more questions about the health of the world’s biggest economy.

HONGKONG: SHARES closed 0.60 per cent stronger yesterday, in line with regional markets which tracked gains on Wall Street that came despite disappointing economic data.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index rose 132.88 points to 22,298.41, on turnover of HK$55.68 billion, in a strong finish to a week that saw the biggest gains for blue-chip stocks since September.
Market players are also hoping for supportive signals from two key official meetings early next month to discuss economic, political and social issues.

SINGAPORE: THE Straits Times Index (STI) ended, 1.19 points, or 0.04 per cent, lower to 3,038.71, yesterday.
The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index gained 0.26 per cent while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.21 per cent.
Of the active stocks, SingTel gained 0.28 per cent, DBS lost 0.30 per cent, OCBC advanced 0.54 per cent, UOB shed 0.40 per cent and Keppel Corp rose 0.39 per cent.
The outperforming sector, FTSE ST Utilities, went up 2.87 per cent. Of its two biggest stocks, Hyflux appreciated 2.92 per cent and HanKore went up 6.31 per cent.

KUALA LUMPUR: THE FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) ended the week on a positive note yesterday, driven by gains in selected heavyweight counters, dealers said.
The index rose 2.22 points to close at 1,819.37 points, after moving between 1,813.9 and 1,820.38 throughout the day.
Public Bank and Petronas Gas were among the blue-chip stocks that helped lift the benchmark index, gaining two sen each to RM19.12 and RM23, respectively.
“Downbeat United States economic data, which has pressured the greenback, also benefited the local bourse as it shifted investor appetite towards Asian equities,” a dealer said.
On the scoreboard, the Finance Index dipped 11.05 points to 16,580.33, and the Industrial Index declined 8.61 points to 3,097.91, but the Plantation Index gained 19.08 points to 8,548.63.
The FBM Emas Index was 25.16 points better at 12,584.24, the FBMT100 Index advanced 14.35 points to 12,266.13, the FBM 70 Index improved 13.62 points 13,811.36 and the FBM ACE Index jumped 74.75 points to 6,302.8.
Gainers thumped losers 525 to 273, while 313 counters were unchanged, 497 untraded and 19 others suspended.
Volume dipped to 2.37 billion shares worth RM2 billion from 2.52 billion shares worth RM2.08 billion traded on Thursday.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed higher, tracking the cash market.
Spot month February 2014 rose 11 points to 1,816.5, March 2014 added 12 points to 1,817.5, June jumped 11.5 points to 1,815 and September 2014 gained nine points to 1,814.
Turnover declined to 4,295 lots from Thursday’s 6,617 lots, while open interests narrowed to 35,039 contracts from 37,988 contracts on Thursday.

In other markets:

* Taipei rose 45.98 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 8,513.68. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co gained 2.38 per cent to T$107.5 while HTC fell 0.78 per cent to T$128.0.

* Wellington added 14.87 points, or 0.31 per cent, at 4,888.40. Fletcher Building gained 0.32 per cent to NZ$9.48, Telecom Corp was up 1.65 per cent to NZ$2.46 and Air New Zealand fell 0.29 per cent to NZ$1.695.

* Manila closed 0.20 per cent higher, with the composite index up 11.94 points to 6,113.66. Top-traded Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co bucked the trend to depreciate by 0.3 per cent to 2,682.00 pesos, while Ayala Land Inc appreciated by 0.77 per cent to close at 26.30 pesos.

* Jakarta was up 0.36 per cent, or 16.38 points, at 4,508.04. Bank Permata gained 1.21 per cent to 1,250 rupiah, while tobacco company Gudang Garam lost 1.58 per cent at 43,650 rupiah.

* Mumbai advanced by 0.86 per cent, or 173.47 points, to 20,366.82. Financial Technologies gained 4.99 per cent to 281.90 rupees per share and Tata Motors appreciated 3.25 per cent to 388.15 rupees per share.

VIETNAM: Vietnamese stocks rose for a third day in a row with high liquidity, market sentiment is positive.
The benchmark VN Index rose 2.04 points or 0.36% to 572.22. Volume eased 3% to 142.8 million shares worth of VND2.336 trillion. Put-through trading contributed 5.9 million shares worth of VND298.76 billion. We saw 1.7 million HAG shares changed hands at the flat line of VND24,800; 1 million OCG shares changed hands at flat line of VND11,700 and 0.6 million VNM shares traded at the ceiling level of VND148,000 each.
The market breadth was positive with 156 gainers, 82 losers and 59 unchanged.
The VN30 bucked trend to close down 0.32 point or 0.05% to 641.41. Among 30 constituents, 13 gained, 10 fell, 7 stood still.
Market opened in the green with 3 million shares changed hands. Trading moved fast as both buyers and sellers were active. There was a tug of war today as buyers and sellers in turn took control of the market, sending the index to the negative ground then bounced back. The market closed off the high but still well in positive ground with majority of shares ending higher.
The top market caps were mixed GAS, BID, VCB, VNM gained, MSN, VIC lost.
Banking shares were firm, BID, VCB, STB, MBB gained while CTG, EIB stood still.
Blue chips were mixed on profit taking, BVH, DHG, FPT, HPG, HSG, KDC, PPC, SJS were among losers.
Broker shares were strong, all are gainers of which BSI limited up.
Property stocks continued to rise too.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX rose 1.07 points or 1.37% to 78.76. Trading volume rose 34% to 113.84 million shares worth VND952.2 billion.
The breadth was positive with 165 gainers, 67 losers, 57 unchanged and the rest untraded.
The HNX30 jumped 2.39 points or 1.56% to 155.62.

EUROPE: European stocks advanced yesterday boosted by news of recovering economic growth across the eurozone, while dealers shrugged off fresh political turmoil in Italy.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index of leading companies gained 0.72 per cent to 9,663.78 points and Paris’ CAC 40 added 0.58 per cent to 4,336.94 points.
Milan’s FSTE MIB index rallied 1.47 per cent to 20,406.42 points, as the anticipated resignation of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta sparks reform hopes in the debt-laden eurozone nation, analysts said.
London’s FTSE 100 added a marginal 0.04 per cent to 6,662.09 points in late morning deals, compared with Thursday’s closing values.
“Activity continues to recover in the eurozone,” said Brenda Kelly, chief market strategist at IG.
“While the political shenanigans in Italy are providing a Groundhog Day backdrop to proceedings, investors are choosing to focus on the better-than-expected GDP numbers.”

AMERICA: The stock market closed out its best week of the year on Friday as investors focused on company earnings and brushed off another weak economic report.

Campbell Soup climbed after reporting earnings that beat the estimates of Wall Street analysts. Cliffs Natural Resources, a mining company, also jumped after its earnings beat analysts’ expectations and the company named a new Chief Executive Officer.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 has wiped out almost all of its loss for the year after a big slump in January, and is now just 10 points below its record close of 1,848 reached Jan. 15. Stocks slumped last month because of concerns about the outlook for growth in China and other emerging markets and worries about the health of the U.S. economy.

“For all practical purposes, we’re back,” said Jonathan Golub, Chief U.S. Market Strategist at RBC Capital Markets. “We’ve effectively recovered this pullback.”

The S&P 500 rose 8.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,838.63. For the week, the index rose 2.3 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 126.80 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,154.39. The Nasdaq composite rose 3.35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,244.03, its highest close since July 2000.

The stock market got a lift on Tuesday when Janet Yellen, the new head of the Federal Reserve, said she would continue the central bank’s low-interest rate policies and as Congress moved toward raising the U.S. borrowing limit without the political drama of last year.

The stock market started lower Friday following news that U.S. factory output fell sharply in January. Manufacturers made fewer cars and trucks, appliances, furniture and carpeting, as the recent cold spell ended five straight months of increased production.

The Federal Reserve said factory production plunged 0.8 percent in January, following gains of 0.3 percent in both December and November.

Investors are hopeful that much of the weakness seen in recent economic reports is due in large part to the unusually cold winter weather this year, said Kristina Hooper, US investment strategist at Allianz Global Investors.

“Investors are choosing to look at very mixed data through a positive lens,” Hooper said.

By late morning, stocks had edged higher. They kept on rising throughout the day.

Among the big gainers, Campbell Soup rose $2.04, or 5 percent, to $43.01 after the company reported that its second-quarter profit and revenue came in above Wall Street’s expectations. Campbell Soup also stood by its 2014 forecasts for sales and earnings growth. Cliffs Natural Resources climbed $1.26, or 5.8 percent, to $23.16 after its own earnings beat analysts’ forecasts.

About 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 have now reported earnings for the fourth quarter, according to S&P Capital IQ. Earnings are forecast to rise 7.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago and 5.6 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

Among the day’s losers were clothing retailer Men’s Wearhouse and Weight Watchers International.

Men’s Wearhouse dropped $2.46, or 5.3 percent, to $44.07, after Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, which Men’s Wearhouse had been pursuing, announced a deal of its own. Jos. A. Bank said that it was buying the parent company of Eddie Bauer.

Weight Watchers plunged $8.48, or 27.7 percent, to $22.10 after reporting a big drop in earnings that was worse than analysts’ had been forecasting. The company also issued a weak earnings forecast, saying 2014 would be a “very challenging year.”

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.75 percent from 2.73 percent Thursday.

Among other stocks making big moves, J.M. Smucker, the maker of fruit spreads, peanut butter and syrups, dropped $3.33, or 3.5 percent, to $91.81 after it reported earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and lowered its guidance for the year, citing more competitive pricing and unfavorable currency movements.

U.S. financial markets will be closed Monday for Presidents’ Day.

Benchmark Currency Rates



1.3693 0.0098 1.6747 1.1201 0.9109 0.9034 0.1289


0.7303 0.0072 1.2231 0.8181 0.6651 0.6598 0.0942


101.8000 139.3900 170.4580 114.0470 92.7110 91.9560 13.1259


0.5971 0.8177 0.0059 0.6690 0.5438 0.5394 0.0770


0.8925 1.2221 0.0088 1.4946 0.8130 0.8064 0.1151


1.0978 1.5035 0.0108 1.8386 1.2303 0.9920 0.1416


1.1069 1.5156 0.0109 1.8538 1.2401 1.0079 0.1427


7.7555 10.6192 0.0762 12.9879 8.6889 7.0630 7.0061

Source: Bloomberg


Category: FinanceAsia

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