Latest Stories

Asian stock markets buoyed by Fed statement

Screengrab from http://finance.yahoo.com/intlindices?e=asia

BANGKOK — Asian markets rose Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave no indication it was preparing to wind down a massive bond-buying program that has propelled investors into stocks.

The Fed wrapped up a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday without any changes in its monetary policy that has supported the economy by keeping interest rates ultra-low. That, in turn, has encouraged lending and spending and also boosted stock markets as investors seek returns higher than offered by bonds.

In China, meanwhile, ambiguous data about the country’s powerhouse manufacturing industries did little to dent the mood. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing’s manufacturing index released Thursday rose to 50.3 last month from June’s 50.1.

Another survey, however, showed manufacturing at its lowest in 11 months. HSBC’s purchasing managers’ index fell to 47.7 last month from 48.2 in June. Readings below 50 on the 100-point scale indicate a contraction in activity.

The results weren’t shocking, analysts said, as evidence that growth is moderating in the world’s No. 2 economy has been piling up in recent weeks.

“On balance, today’s number probably didn’t really change … consensus views about the outlook for China,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “It was a bit of a divided story there, which is why there hasn’t been much of a response at this stage.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index, which has zigzagged all week, gained 2 percent to 13,937.48. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.7 percent to 22,045.36. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent to 2,010.85. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5 percent to 1,922.56. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell marginally to 5,049.40.

Better-than-expected U.S. growth in the second quarter of 2013 also gave a modest boost to investor morale. The world’s No. 1 economy grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent, the government said Wednesday, beating expectations of 1 percent for the period. Separately, a private survey from payroll company ADP showed that U.S. businesses created 200,000 jobs this month.

In addition, Eurostat figures showed the number of unemployed across the 17 European Union nations fell for the first time since April 2011, providing further hope for an eventual economic recovery in the region.

Australian banking stocks fell after reports the government plans to introduce an insurance levy on deposits for banks. Details were sketchy but investors shed stocks out of fear that it could affect the bottom line of banks. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group fell 1.5 percent. National Australia Bank lost 1.7 percent.

Panasonic Corp. jumped 5.5 percent, a day after the Japanese consumer electronics giant said its quarterly earnings surged more than eight-fold. Its 107.8 billion yen ($1.1 billion) net profit in April-June was up from net profit of 12.8 billion a year earlier.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.1 percent to close at 15,499.54. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index dropped marginally to 1,685.73. The Nasdaq composite index rose 0.3 percent to 3,626.37.

Benchmark crude for August delivery was up 57 cents to $105.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.95 to close at $105.03 a barrel on the Nymex on Wednesday.

In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3272 from $1.3299 late Wednesday. The dollar rose to 98.30 yen from 97.75 yen.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Asia , markets , stocks , Trade , US Federal Reserve

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Aquino: ‘Doubting Thomases’ now contributing to PH recovery
  • Fire engulfs apartments in Sampaloc
  • Messy warehouse belongs to Unicef, WFP, says Soliman
  • Suspected Abu Sayyaf rebels release hostage
  • New meaning of Easter in Samar
  • Sports

  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Ateneo eyes quarterfinal spot vs Benilde
  • Style contrast marks OneFC ‘Rise of Heroes’
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • Marketplace