Asian shares rise in cautious trade before Fed meeting

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An investor stands at a private securities company in Shanghai, China, July 18, 2013. Asian markets on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, mostly rebounded from the previous day’s losses on bargain buying in cautious trade ahead of a closely watched policy meeting at the Federal Reserve. AP FILE PHOTO

HONG KONG—Asian markets on Tuesday mostly rebounded from the previous day’s losses on bargain buying in cautious trade ahead of a closely watched policy meeting at the Federal Reserve.

With the focus on the US central bank, investors brushed off losses on Wall Street, while Japanese shares enjoyed a pick-up thanks to a weakening yen.

Tokyo surged 1.53 percent, or 208.69 points to 13,869.82, snapping a four-day losing streak that saw it give up 7.6 percent. Seoul added 0.90 percent, or 17.16 points, to close at 1,917.05 and Sydney was flat, edging up 0.87 points to 5,047.2.

Shanghai added 0.70 percent, or 13.76 points, to end at 1,990.06 and Hong Kong advanced 0.48 percent, or 103.81 points, to 21,953.96.

Investors are sitting on the sidelines before the Fed’s policy statement on Wednesday that they hope will provide an idea of its intentions for its $85 billion a month stimulus programme.

Most economists expect the scheme to be kept in place for the time being as the bank waits for the economy to show signs it can stand on its own two feet.

Also in traders’ sights this week are the release of non-farm jobs, second-quarter gross domestic growth and home prices.

On Wall Street the Dow fell 0.24 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 0.37 percent and the Nasdaq eased 0.39 percent.

In currency trade the dollar rose against the yen after hitting a one-month low on Monday.

The greenback bought 98.20 yen compared with 97.89 yen in New York late Monday. The euro bought $1.3269 compared with $1.3264, while it also sat at 130.28, from 129.85 yen.

The euro has enjoyed some measure of support from signs the eurozone is finally picking up strength and could even drag itself out of recession. With this in mind the European Central Bank is expected to hold off announcing any new interest rate cuts.

In Tokyo investors seemed to shrug off data showing industrial output fell a heavier-than-expected 3.3 percent month on month in June, while household spending also slipped.

However, the silver lining was news that unemployment had fallen to 3.9 percent, its lowest level since October 2008.

On oil markets New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September, was down 26 cents at $104.29 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September eased 10 cents to $107.35.

Gold cost $1,323.50 per ounce at 1100 GMT, compared with $1,334.38 late Monday.

In other markets:

— Mumbai slid 1.25 percent, or 244.94 points, to 19,348.94 points. ONGC fell 5.64 percent to 280.85 rupees while Tata Motors fell 3.94 percent to 284.40 rupees.

— Bangkok fell 1.30 percent, or 18.84 points, to 1,435.44.

PTT Global Chemical lost 4.44 percent to 70 baht, while Airports of Thailand dropped 4.51 percent to 180 baht.

— Kuala Lumpur lost 0.21 percent, or 3.70 points, to close at 1,795.08.

CIMB Group Holdings fell 1.9 percent to 8.15 ringgit, while Malayan Banking dipped 1.3 percent to 10.56. Genting Malaysia gained 5.0 percent to 4.21 ringgit.

— Jakarta closed higher 0.61 percent, or 28.02 points, at 4,608.49.

Astra International rose 2.38 percent to 6,450 rupiah, while Gudang Garam gained 1.40 percent to 43,600 rupiah.

— Singapore closed up 0.26 percent, or 8.48 points, at 3,245.45

Keppel Corp was down 0.67 percent to Sg$10.37 and Olam gained 1.77 percent to finish at Sg$1.73.

— Taipei rose 0.98 percent, or 79.05 points, to 8,163.55.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 2.0 percent higher at Tw$102.0, while Largan Precision gained 3.86 percent at Tw$1,075.

— Manila closed 0.15 percent higher, adding 10.34 points to 6,728.00.

Manila Electric Co. rose 0.27 percent to 292 pesos, while Ayala Land advanced 0.33 percent to 30.65 pesos and BDO Unibank gained 2.01 percent to 83.70 pesos.

— Wellington fell 0.61 percent, or 27.89 points, to 4,550.59.

Chorus was off 2.84 percent at NZ$2.74, Telecom fell 2.18 percent to NZ$2.245 and Air New Zealand was steady on NZ$1.45.

Originally posted: 12:01 pm | Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

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