Asian shares in broad-based rise
HONG KONG—Asian shares were widely up Tuesday, led by a sharp rise in Hong Kong, amid hopes of Chinese and US stimulus measures ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke appearing before Congress.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index powered up 1.75 percent, or 333.99 points, to close at 19,455.33, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.62 percent, or 13.23 points, to 2,155.20 on bargain hunting after hitting a three-year low on Monday.
In Tokyo the Nikkei climbed 0.35 percent, or 30.88 points, to 8755.00, while Sydney’s ASX 200 rose 0.87 percent, or 35.7 points, to 4,140.8, and the Kospi in Seoul was up 0.23 percent, or 4.17 points, at 1,821.96.
There were several factors behind Hong Kong’s surprise rise, analysts said, including short-covering and hopes of a lending boost in China and quantitative easing in the US.
In Australia, IG Markets analyst Cameron Peacock said: “Perhaps today’s price action is just a function of the market being sick and tired of all the doom and gloom.
“Perhaps the worst-case scenarios for Europe, China and the US are already priced into the market.”
China said last Friday economic growth slowed to 7.6 percent year on year in the second quarter, its lowest level in more than three years.
The figures have led to hopes Beijing will take steps to boost the world’s second-largest economy, including loosening restrictions on bank lending.
Alvin Cheung, associate director at Prudential Brokerage, told Dow Jones Newswires: “The talk is that China will cut reserve requirement ratio soon, perhaps as soon as Friday, that’s why we outperformed.”
Investors were also looking to two days of Congress testimony by Bernanke, scheduled to start later Tuesday, for hints of a new round of stimulus by the Federal Reserve.
But in Tokyo, Barclays Bank chief currency strategist Masafumi Yamamoto warned: “If there is no indication (for more easing) from him, stocks and long-term US Treasury yields will fall on disappointment.”
European stock markets also advanced in opening trade, with London’s FTSE 100 up 0.22 percent to 5,674.85 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 adding 0.27 percent to 6,583.77 points, and the CAC 40 in Paris rising 0.28 percent to 3,188.71.
The euro gained against major currencies in Asian trade after the IMF said it was releasing 1.48 billion euros ($1.82 billion) in new funds to troubled Portugal.
The single currency fetched $1.2297 compared to $1.2271 in New York late Monday, and also rose against the yen, buying 97.18 yen from 96.40 yen.
The International Monetary Fund said Lisbon was on track to narrow its fiscal deficit under tough austerity measures required under the 78-billion-euro joint IMF-European Union rescue program launched in May 2011.
The greenback traded at 79.03 yen from 78.83 yen on Monday.
Oil was steady with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, up just five cents at $88.55 and Brent North Sea crude for September delivery up 65 cents at $104.02.
Gold was at $1,595.60 an ounce at 1030 GMT, from $1,585.35 on Monday.
In other markets:
– Singapore was up 0.54 percent, or 16.05 points, at 3,014.80.
Vehicle distributor Jardine Cycle and Carriage rose 2.30 percent to Sg$47.06, while DBS Bank was down 0.42 percent to Sg$14.22.
– Taipei rose 0.52 percent, or 36.96 points, to 7,127.00.
Leading smartphone maker HTC gained 3.83 percent to Tw$298.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 0.93 percent lower at Tw$74.8.
– Kuala Lumpur ended 0.19 percent, or 3.19 points, higher at 1,639.15.
Newly listed telecom service provider OCK Group rose 23.6 percent to 0.45 ringgit from its IPO price.
– Bangkok added 0.82 percent, or 9.96 points, to 1,224.21.
Banpu gained 1.75 percent to 466 baht, while PTT added 1.51 percent to 336 baht.
– Manila fell 0.24 percent, or 12.87 points, to 5,285.12.
Top-traded Ayala Corp. fell 1.16 percent to 458 pesos while Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. dropped 1.56 percent to 2,734 pesos.
– Wellington edged up 0.04 percent, or 1.53 points, to 3,468.86.
Market heavyweight Fletcher Building rose 0.2 percent to NZ$5.89 and Telecom Corp. dropped 0.2 percent to NZ$2.465.
– Jakarta closed 33.20 points higher, or 0.82 percent, to 4,080.67.
Heavyweight Telkom rose 1.1 percent to 8,950 rupiah and Bank Mandiri gained 2.1 percent to 7,250 rupiah, while Timah lost 2.07 percent to 1,420 rupiah.
– Mumbai ended flat, up 0.01 percent or 1.99 points to 17,105.3.
Motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto fell 2.43 percent to 1,447.15. TCS slid 1.95 percent to 1,186.6.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=71482