Asian markets gain after Wall St. leadBy Danny McCord
HONG KONG—Asian markets rose Wednesday thanks to a positive lead from Wall Street, but gains were capped by lingering doubts about an upcoming European Union summit aimed at tackling the eurozone debt crisis.
Tokyo closed up 0.77 percent, or 66.50 points, at 8,730.49, while Sydney closed 0.75 percent, or 29.9 points, up at 4,043.2 and Hong Kong added 1.03 percent, or 195.11 points, to 19,176.95.
But Seoul ended flat, edging down 0.16 points to close at 1,817.65 and Shanghai was 0.23 percent lower, shedding 5.14 points to 2,216.93.
US markets were given a boost by the S&P Case-Shiller price index for 20 major US cities, which rose for the third straight month in April.
The modest rise in the US market, caused by property prices falling less than expected, provided a fillip as the sector is a key component in the world’s biggest economy.
However, separately the Conference Board reported that consumers grew more pessimistic about the economy for the fourth consecutive month in June.
The Dow gained 0.26 percent, the S&P 500 rose 0.48 percent and the Nasdaq added 0.63 percent.
Eyes are on Europe, with leaders meeting in Brussels for two days of talks from Thursday to consider proposals to give EU authorities more power over national budgets, and to centralize banking supervision.
But economists are unconvinced they will be able to overcome their differences to hammer out a coherent deal.
Some of the region’s top finance chiefs met in Paris Tuesday to try to pave the way for a summit deal.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the gathering would be anything but “banal” and would tackle real issues, while Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti vowed to work overtime to save the euro.
“We cannot allow this extraordinary European piece of work to which Italy has always contributed to go bust,” Monti said in a speech to the Italian parliament.
A report drawn up by EU and eurozone leaders Herman Van Rompuy, Jose Manuel Barroso, Jean-Claude Juncker and Mario Draghi proposes to move “over the next decade” toward greater centralized power for the “financial sector, for budgetary matters and for economic policy.”
In the report, EU president Van Rompuy said: “The euro-area level would be in a position to require changes to (national) budgetary envelopes if they are in violation of fiscal rules.”
The meeting comes against a backdrop of a downgrade for 28 Spanish lenders by Moody’s and an appeal by Madrid for rescue cash to prop up its banking sector.
This week also saw Cyprus become the latest eurozone member to ask for a handout as its economy struggles owing to its exposure to Greece’s debt mountain.
In Sydney shares in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. soared 3.42 percent to end at Aus$21.50 after confirming it is considering a split into two publicly traded companies, separating its publishing assets from its bigger entertainment arm.
In early European trade, the euro bought $1.2494 and 99.46 yen, compared with $1.2495 and 99.36 yen in New York late Tuesday. The dollar was trading at 79.61 yen against 79.51 yen.
On oil markets New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, was 36 cents lower at $79 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August delivery dropped 88 cents to $92.14.
Gold was at $1,566.96 an ounce at 1100 GMT, compared with $1,584.76 late Tuesday.
In other markets:
– Singapore closed up 1.28 percent, or 35.97 points, to 2,841.60.
Sembcorp Marine gained 3.86 percent to Sg$4.57 and Jardine Cycle and Carriage added 4.48 percent to Sg$45.25.
– Jakarta rose 1.38 percent, or 53.47 points, to 3,934.87.
Nickel and gold miner Antam rose 2.17 percent to 1,410 rupiah, carmaker Astra International gained 0.74 percent to 6,800 rupiah and cement manufacturer Indocement rose 2.06 percent to 17,300 rupiah.
– Bangkok rose 1.29 percent, or 14.89 points, to 1,165.98.
Energy firm Banpu gained 0.46 percent to 440 baht, while oil giant PTT added 1.61 percent to 316.00 baht.
– Kuala Lumpur ended 0.49 percent, or 7.79 points higher, at 1,601.89.
Genting Malaysia rose 2.6 percent to 3.56 ringgit, DiGi.com added 2.2 percent to 4.26 and British American Tobacco gained 1.8 percent to 56. MMC shed 1.5 percent to 2.65 and Maxis lost 0.8 percent to 6.40 ringgit.
– Wellington added 0.19 percent, or 6.46 points, to 3,387.78.
Telecom Corp. was up 3.74 percent to NZ$2.44 and Fletcher Building slipped 1.53 percent to NZ$5.79.
– Manila gained 1.23 percent, or 64.08 points, to close at 5,257.92.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone rose 1.4 percent to 2,714 pesos and property firm Megaworld Corp added 3.8 percent to 2.16 pesos.
– Taipei rose 0.63 percent, or 45.08 points, to 7,183.01.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. ended 0.76 percent higher at Tw$79.3 while smartphone maker HTC gained 2.31 percent to Tw$376.0.
– Mumbai rose 0.36 percent, or 61.18 points, to 16,967.76.
Tata Power rose 2.25 percent to 97.65 rupees and Sterlite Industries, the local arm of global resources group Vedanta, rose 1.79 percent to 99.7 rupees.
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