Asian markets advance

HONG KONG - Markets across Asia advanced on Thursday as Japanese stocks surged, led by blue-chip stocks like Toshiba and Canon. Hong Kong shares rose for the third day in a row, while Australia’s market hit a six-week high. But Indian shares declined, snapping a five-session rally.

By (AP)

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Published: Thu 31 Aug 2006, 7:30 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:05 PM

Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 268.74 points, or 1.69 percent, to close at 16,140.76 points.

Still, the index’s upward momentum will likely be only temporary, as Thursday’s gains were mainly due to buying from hedge funds and other short-term players, said Yuji Nakagawa, the head of derivative dealing division at Tokyo Securities.

“The market was driven only by moves in the futures market amid very thin volume trading,” Nakagawa said.

Toshiba Corp. rose 3.21 percent to 836 yen (US$7.15). Canon Inc. added 2.28 percent to 5,840 yen (US$49.91) and Sony Corp. posted a 1.80 percent gain to 5,080 yen (US$43.42).

Other gainers were Hokuetsu Paper Mills Ltd. and Oji Paper.

In Hong Kong, shares rose for the third day in a row, tracking strength in regional bourses on indications US interest rates are unlikely to rise soon. The Hang Seng Index rose 107.56 points, or 0.6 percent, to 17,392.27.

“Today’s gains are largely driven by investors’ continued belief the US Federal Reserve won’t resume raising interest rate after a pause (in early August),” said Castor Pang, a strategist at Sun Hung Kai Research.

The US Federal Reserve Tuesday released minutes for its August meeting that fueled speculation the interest rate hike cycle may end soon.

Most large blue-chip property developers climbed higher as they expect to benefit from better new apartment sales with the anticipated end to US rate hikes, traders said.

Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., the largest Hong Kong developer by market capitalization, rose 1.6 percent to HK$84.80. Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. gained 1.3 percent to HK485.90, while Henderson Land Development Co. was up 0.8 percent to HK$43.95.

In currencies, the US dollar rose as high as 117.45 yen _ the highest since July 19 _ before slipping back to 117.22 yen, up from 117.13 yen late Wednesday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.2851, from US$1.2829.


BANGKOK: Thai shares ended higher, led by a rebound in energy blue chips on rising global oil prices and gains in some banks and housing developers, despite bombings in the country’s South. The Stock Exchange of Thailand’s SET index closed up 6.39 points, or 0.9 percent, at 690.90.

BOMBAY: Indian shares snapped a five-session rally to end lower, despite gains in other Asian markets, led by losses in front-line counters such as Reliance Industries and steel stocks. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s 30-stock Sensitive Index, or Sensex, closed 24.87 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,699.05.

JAKARTA: Indonesian shares closed higher, boosted by hopes that the government will announce benign August inflation data, expected to inspire the central bank to cut interest rates next week. The Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite index ended up 6.04 points, or 0.4 percent at 1,431.26.

KUALA LUMPUR: Financial markets in Malaysia were closed for a holiday.

MANILA: Philippine stocks rose after the government reported that economic growth accelerated in the second quarter and is on track to hit its target for the year. The 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index gained 15.45 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 2,312.23.

SEOUL: South Korean shares gained, led by brokerage shares which gained on increasing trading volume. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, closed up 0.9 percent, or 11.39 points, at 1,352.74.

SHANGHAI: Chinese shares were marginally higher, with banks getting a lift from solid first-half results as the market optimistically awaits the Hong Kong initial public offering of China Merchants Bank. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.2 percent at 1,658.64.

SINGAPORE: Singaporean shares ended higher, tracking gains on Wall Street overnight, with much of the session’s action focused on property and technology stocks. The benchmark Straits Times Index ended up 11 points, or 0.4 percent higher, at 2,482.4.

SYDNEY: Australian stocks advanced to a six-week high, helped by month-end buying and slight gains in commodity prices overnight. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 48.1 points, or 1.0 percent, to 5,115.4.

TAIPEI: Taiwan shares rose moderately on demand from hedge funds and hopes of an improvement in companies’ profits for the remainder of the year. The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange rose 24.65 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,611.77.

WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s stocks rose as a rally by Telecom Corp., buoyed by speculation over potential suitors for its directories business, offset a downbeat tone in the broader market. The benchmark NZX-50 lifted 12.4 points, or 0.4 percent, to 3,510.27.

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