Most Asian markets climb, boosted by Wall Street and US inflation data

HONG KONG - Most Asian markets rose on Wednesday, boosted by an overnight rally on Wall Street and weaker than expected US inflation data. Japanese stocks rose to a nearly three-month high, while Hong Kong shares climbed to their highest in nearly six years.

By (AP)

Published: Wed 16 Aug 2006, 8:06 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:14 PM

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index added 255.17 points, or 1.61 percent, to finish at 16,071.36 points. It was the Nikkei’s highest close since May 19, when it finished at 16,155.45.

Prices were buoyed by US stock gains overnight after weaker-than-expected price data fueled bets that the Federal Reserve would leave US interest rates unchanged.

Optimism about earnings growth at Japanese companies also pushed shares higher.

Hitoshi Yamamoto, president of Commerz International Capital Management, said stocks would not look overpriced even if the Nikkei rose to around 17,000 points if the market continues to price in profit gains and improving economic fundamentals.

Japan’s economy, the world’s second-largest, is pulling out of more than a decade of doldrums and the government said last Friday that the economy posted a sixth straight quarter of growth.

Traders snapped up export issues such as electronics and autos, with Toyota Motor Corp. rising 2.4 percent to 6,420 yen (US$55.3) and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. gaining 2.7 percent to 2,460 yen (US$21.2).

In Hong Kong, shares climbed to a near six-year high on the US data and Wall Street gains. The blue chip Hang Seng Index rose 176.96 points, or 1.0 percent, to 17,451.03.

“Investors are quite positive the US consumer price index (to be released tonight) will be mild, similar to the producer price index released overnight,” said Castor Pang, a strategist of Sun Hung Kai Research.

The core US producer price index, a measure of inflation, fell 0.3 percent in July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.2 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.22 percent.

In currencies, the US dollar was trading at 116.04 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market late Wednesday, down from 116.07 yen late Tuesday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.2786 from US$1.2722.


BANGKOK: Thai shares ended up, tracking rallies on regional markets and overnight gains in the US The Stock Exchange of Thailand’s SET index closed up 4.39 points, or 0.6 percent, at 712.07.

BOMBAY: Indian shares ended higher for the sixth straight session in line with strong Asian markets, with gains led by front-line stocks like Oil & Natural Gas and Reliance Industries. The Bombay Stock Exchange’s 30-stock Sensitive Index, or Sensex, ended up 135.32 points, or 1.2 percent at 11,448.31, marking its highest close since May 17, when the index finished at 12,217.81.

JAKARTA: Indonesian shares closed higher, led by gains in gas distributor Gas Negara on expectations that the government will soon unveil its plan to sell a stake in the company. The Jakarta Stock Exchange Composite index ended up 13.53 points, or 1.0 percent, to hit a three-month closing high at 1,437.77.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares ended lower with weakness across a broad range of sectors as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of July inflation data. The weighted Composite Index of 100 blue-chip stocks fell 0.6 percent, or 5.96 points, to close at 937.98.

MANILA: Philippine stocks rose, taking their cue from Wall Street’s rally after fresh US economic data eased concerns over possible interest rate increases. The benchmark 30-company Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 14.09 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,343.51.

SEOUL: South Korean shares ended sharply higher, with financial stocks leading gains amid a closely watched acquisition deal for South Korea’s top credit card issuer. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 20.50 points, or 1.6 percent, to 1,315.61.

SHANGHAI: China’s shares advanced, led by large-capitalized companies that reported strong first-half results. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended up 1.3 percent at 1,616.41.

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s shares ended higher, led by technology and property stocks. The Straits Times Index gained 12.8 points, or 0.5 percent, to end at 2,453.4.

SYDNEY: Australian shares rose as solid company profit results helped lift the mood of investors. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 25.9 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,961.9.

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s shares surged to a one-month high, following a rally on Wall Street overnight. The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange rose 81.5 points, or 1.2 percent, to 6,696.63, its highest closing level since July 4, when it ended at 6,734.51.

WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s key stock index rose marginally as investors remained mostly on the sidelines amid a lackluster earnings season and regulatory uncertainties. The benchmark NZX-50 climbed 3.12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 3,495.35.

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