Asia: Up on strong US consumer confidence

27-Mar-2014 Intellasia | Business Times | Reuters | AFP | Bloomberg | AP | 8:18 AM Print This Post

Asian markets mostly rose yesterday Wednesday March 26 following a rally on Wall Street as dealers welcomed a better-than-expected jump in United States consumer confidence to a six-year high, while there was muted response to a missile test by North Korea.
The euro eased slightly after the European Central Bank suggested it would be willing to further loosen monetary policy as it grapples with low inflation.
Tokyo added 0.37 per cent, or 53.97 points, to finish at 14,477.16, buoyed by investors picking up stocks to lock in dividends before the new tax year starts in April.
Sydney gained 0.75 per cent, or 40.2 points, to 5,376.8 and Seoul rose 1.19 per cent, or 23.06 points, to 1,964.31. However, Shanghai slipped 0.18 per cent, or 3.64 points, to 2,063.67.
Asian traders seemed unmoved by news that North Korea test-fired two medium-range missiles early yesterday, as US President Barack Obama hosted a landmark Japan-South Korea summit.
However, while Washington condemned the tests as “troubling and provocative”, regional markets maintained their uptrend.

HONGKONG: SHARES rose 0.72 per cent yesterday, following a rally on Wall Street after data showed a strong pick-up in United States consumer confidence.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index climbed 155.43 points to 21,887.75.
Traders took their lead from New York, where the three main indexes jumped after a closely watched survey showed confidence among American consumers surging.
Banking giant ICBC rose 1.31 per cent, while HSBC added 0.58 per cent to HK$78.25.
CITIC Pacific added 4.80 per cent to HK$12.66, but Tencent eased 0.81 per cent to HK$554.

SINGAPORE: THE Straits Times Index added 39.15 points, or 1.26 per cent, to 3143.32.
The FTSE ST Mid Cap Index added 0.36 per cent while the FTSE ST Small Cap Index rose 0.39 per cent.
Among the top actives, DBS rose 0.94 per cent, UOB was up 2.12 per cent, Noble Group climbed five per cent, SingTel added 1.12 per cent and OCBC Bank jumped 1.49 per cent.
Of the outperforming sectors, the FTSE ST Industrials Index gained 2.35 per cent.
Of the two biggest stocks, Jardine Strategic Holdings rose 3.08 per cent and Jardine Matheson Holdings added 3.95 per cent.

KUALA LUMPUR: SHARES on Bursa Malaysia closed higher yesterday, lifted by buying support for selected blue-chips.
The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) finished at 1,839.14, up 1.97 points, after moving within a tight range of between 1,834.8 and 1,839.96 throughout the day.
On the scoreboard, the Finance Index rose 34.86 points to 16,575.84 and the Plantation Index gained 6.22 points to 8,920.06. However, the Industrial Index eased 14.24 points to 3,189.34.
The FBM Emas Index increased 18.63 points to 12,718.21, FBMT100 Index was up 15.32 points to 12,376.24, FBM 70 perked 25.38 points to 13,845.14 and FBM ACE Index improved 31 points to 6,734.24.
Market breadth was positive with gainers outpacing losers 445 to 336, while 312 counters were unchanged, 529 untraded and 14 others suspended.
Turnover rose to 2.08 billion shares worth RM1.97 billion from 2.04 billion shares worth RM2.01 billion on Tuesday.
Among actives, Green Packet gained 5.5 sen to 52 sen, Ingenuity shed one sen to 10 sen and Xidelang eased three sen to 27.5 sen.
Of the heavyweights, Maybank and TNB rose two sen each to RM9.66 and RM11.96, respectively. CIMB fell three sen to RM7.12, Sime Darby eased two sen to RM9.25 and Axiata shed one sen to RM6.60.
Meanwhile, FBM KLCI futures contracts on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives closed higher, tracking the uptrend in the cash market.
March 2014 gained two points to 1838.0, April 2014 and June 2014 added 3.5 points to 1,840.5 and 1,833.5, respectively, while September 2014 garnered five points to 1,834.
Turnover rose to 26,207 lots from 20,849 lots on Tuesday while open interest widened to 62,949 contracts from 58,579 contracts previously.

In other markets:
* Bangkok added 0.47 per cent, or 6.43 points, to 1,360.44. Airports of Thailand gained 1.84 per cent to 194 baht, while telecoms company Advanced Info Service rose 1.33 per cent to 228 baht.
* Jakarta ended up 0.53 per cent, or 25.15 points, at 4,728.24. Astra Agro Lestari rose 1.91 per cent to 25,400 rupiah, while Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa lost 0.10 per cent to 24,200 rupiah.
* Mumbai rose 0.18 per cent, or 40.09 points, to end at 22,095.30 points. Ashok Leyland rose 11.36 per cent to 22.55 rupees and Oberoi Realty gained 9.69 per cent to 217.95 rupees per share.
* Taipei rose 0.55 per cent, or 47.97 points, to 8,737.27. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co jumped 1.76 per cent to T$115.5 while Hon Hai was 0.35 per cent higher at T$86.
* Wellington eased 0.11 per cent, or 5.81 points, to 5,124.88. Air New Zealand was up 1.58 per cent at NZ$1.92 while Contact Energy fell 1.13 per cent to NZ$5.23.
* Manila ended 0.19 per cent higher, adding 12.16 points to 6,348.50. Conglomerate Ayala Corp rose 1.43 per cent to 566 pesos, while Philippine Long Distance Telephone inched down 0.07 per cent to 2,702 pesos.

VIETNAM: Vietnamese stocks fell sharply today with high liquidity as investors aggressively offloaded shares to reduce margin as market corrected strongly.
The benchmark VN Index lost 13.79 points or 2.29% to 588.06. Volume eased 0.9% to 259.1 million shares worth of VND4.309 trillion, close to all time high level set yesterday.
Put-through trading contributed 12.6 million shares worth of VND369.52 billion. We saw 3 million EIB shares; 4.3 million KDH shares and 1.2 million MBB shares changed hands.
The market breadth turned negative with 55 gainers, 202 losers and 39 unchanged.
The VN30 lost 17.88 points or 2.62% to 664.87. Among 30 constituents, 1 gained, 26 fell, 3 stood still.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX closed down 1.33 points or 1.46% to 89.79. Trading volume was 156.6 million shares worth VND1.784 trillion.
The breadth was negative with 82 gainers, 203 losers, 37 unchanged and the rest untraded.
The HNX30 fell 3.26 points or 1.74% to 183.5.

EUROPE: Europe’s main stock markets advanced strongly for a second day yesterday as investors focused on upbeat economic data and set aside Ukraine-Russia worries, dealers said.
London’s FTSE 100 index climbed 0.48 per cent to 6,636.90 points around midday, and Paris’ CAC 40 index jumped 1.11 per cent to 4,392.43 points compared with Tuesday’s close.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 rallied 1.45 per cent to 9,473.64 points, boosted also by data showing German consumer confidence held at a seven-year high in March.
“Positive United States and Asian sentiment overnight has fed into… the European session as concerns over Russia take a backseat for now,” said CMC Markets analyst Alexander Young.

AMERICA: The stock market continued its recent pattern of one step forward, one step back.
After starting the day higher following an encouraging report on orders for manufactured goods, stocks drifted lower in afternoon trading Wednesday and gave up their gains from a day earlier. Facebook led the technology sector lower as investors gave the company’s latest acquisition the thumbs-down.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell the most in two weeks and is now flat for the year. Investors are waiting for a catalyst that will either push the market higher or cause a sustained sell-off. Many anticipate that the stock market will resume its upward trajectory later in the year as the economy strengthens following an unusually harsh winter.

The S&P 500 fell 13.06 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,852.56. The index is up 0.2 percent for the year, after rising almost 30 percent in 2013.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 98.89 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,268.99. The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite fell more than the other indexes, giving up 60.69 points, or 1.4 percent, to 4,173.58.
Facebook was one of the biggest losers.
The social media network slumped $4.51, or 6.9 percent, to $60.38 after announcing a $2 billion acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus late Monday. It was Facebook’s second big acquisition in as many months. Last month the company announced that it would pay $19 billion for messaging startup WhatsApp.
Investors may be questioning whether the returns on those investments will ultimately justify the big outlays, said Lawrence Creatura, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors.
Another loser in the technology sector was King Digital Entertainment.
The online games company, which makes the popular “Candy Crush Saga,” slumped on its first day of trading. The company raised $499.5 million in an initial public offering. The company’s stock fell $3.50, or 15.6 percent, to $19 on its first day of trading.
The stock market opened higher after a report showed that orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose in February by the largest amount since November, 2.2 percent. Demand for airplanes and automobiles drove the gains, according to the Commerce Department report. Last month’s rise in durable goods orders followed a 1.3 percent drop in January.
“The bigger issue right now is whether or not growth in the United States is going to reaccelerate as the year goes on,” Paul Karos, portfolio manager at Whitebox mutual funds. “We are assuming a bounce back after this weak first quarter.”
Health care companies bucked the downward trend and were the only industry sector to rise. The sector is rebounding after getting caught up in a brief sell-off of biotechnology stocks on Friday and Monday. Biotech companies slumped after lawmakers raised concerns about the prices of some drugs.
Tenet Healthcare rose $2.03, or 5.2 percent, to $40.93. Quest Diagnostic rose $3.05, or 5.6 percent, to $57.99. Hospitals and medical device companies are attractive because they have steady revenue streams.
Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.69 percent from 2.75 percent from late Tuesday. The price of crude oil rose $1.07, or 1.1 percent, to $100.26 a barrel. Gold fell $8, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1,303.40 an ounce.
Among other stocks making big moves:
— International Game Technology fell $1.23, or 8.3 percent, to $13.62 after the company lowered its annual profit forecast, saying North American gambling revenue has declined more steeply than it expected. Its international business is being hurt by weakening currencies and other problems.
— Discount retailer Five Below shot higher after its quarterly profit and sales beat analysts’ expectations. The stock jumped $4.34, or 11 percent, to $42.34.
— Citigroup fell $2.66, or 5.3 percent, to $47.50 in after-hours trading after the Federal Reserve turned down the bank’s plan to spend $6.4 billion buying back its own stock and increasing its quarterly dividend from 1 cent to 5 cents.

Benchmark Currency Rates



1.3786 0.0098 1.6574 1.1300 0.9015 0.9219 0.1289


0.7253 0.0071 1.2024 0.8197 0.6538 0.6687 0.0935


101.9000 140.4600 168.8830 115.1350 91.8470 93.9300 13.1321


0.6033 0.8317 0.0059 0.6818 0.5438 0.5562 0.0778


0.8849 1.2199 0.0087 1.4668 0.7977 0.8158 0.1141


1.1093 1.5294 0.0109 1.8387 1.2536 1.0227 0.1430


1.0847 1.4954 0.0106 1.7979 1.2258 0.9778 0.1398


7.7590 10.6955 0.0762 12.8601 8.7673 6.9941 7.1524 _

Source: Bloomberg


Category: FinanceAsia

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