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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wall Street rally lifts Asian Market

The New Age

Asian stocks rose Friday as the few markets that were open cheered a rally on Wall Street after some rare good news in the financial sector.
However, Tokyo could only edge up 0.54 per cent as fears set in about Japan’s megabanks.
Taipei added two per cent, Shanghai 2.7 per cent and Seoul 1.5 per cent.
Markets in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore were closed for public holidays.
The gains followed a 3.14 per cent jump on Wall Street after banking giant Wells Fargo projected a record first-quarter profit, spurring hopes of recovery in the financial sector.
Wells Fargo said it expected a ‘record’ net income of some three billion dollars for the first quarter, thanks in part to a better-than-expected performance by its newly acquired bank, Wachovia.
Financial shares were under pressure after a profit warning from Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, which said it had lost about 390 billion yen ($3.9 billion) in the year to March and would issue new shares worth up to 800 billion yen.
Adding to investor jitters, Fitch Ratings warned that it may downgrade its credit ratings on Japan’s megabanks due to their worsening health.
The Nikkei-225 climbed 48.05 points to 8,964.11.
Japanese shares were at a three-month high.
Players were waiting for fresh US economic data due next week, including reports on the retail sector, industrial output and housing starts.
Shares in Mizuho Financial Group plunged 9.6 per cent to 198 yen as fears mounted that it may have to raise fresh capital to ride out the crisis.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group was untraded at 3,110 yen, down nearly 14 per cent from the previous close, amid a glut of sell orders.
Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which has also announced a capital hike, dropped 1.0 per cent to 517 yen.’
Shipping shares were at the vanguard of the rally. Mitsui OSK climbed 6.6 per cent to 580 yen and Nippon Yusen rose 4.9 per cent to 447 yen.
The Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B shares, was up 64.35 points at 2,444.23.
Signs of a pickup in the economy and hopes of a recovery in domestic demand also spurred shares, traders said.
Chinese exports fell 17.1 per cent in March from a year earlier, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday, citing figures from the customs bureau. But the data marked an improvement from February’s 25.7 per cent fall.
Analysts said any better-than-expected figures in March and first-quarter economic data due in the coming days would help the market’s upward momentum.
Western Mining rose by the 10 per cent daily trading limit to 13.85 yuan. Airlines rallied on hopes their earnings would improve later this year, traders said.
China Southern Airlines added 6.7 per cent to 5.61 yuan, and Air China was up 7.7 per cent at 6.69 yuan.
The weighted index rose 114.16 points to 5,781.96.
The passage of a 150 billion Taiwan dollar budget in parliament to invest in infrastructure also prompted investors to buy.
AU Optronics gained 6.58 per cent to 32.40.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co gained 1.15 per cent to 53.00, while United Microelectronics Corp closed unchanged at 11.30.
Construction, steel and cement stocks were lifted by the government’s efforts to boost the economy by investing in infrastructure, dealers said.
Da Cin Construction rose 6.79 per cent to 17.30.
The KOSPI ended up 19.69 points at 1,336.04.
KB Financial Group, the holding company of Kookmin Bank, gained 0.66 per cent to 38,150 won while steelmaker POSCO rose 1.2 per cent to 379,500 won.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index was 23.49 points higher at 941.38.
Analysts said the bourse was buoyed by fresh optimism that projects under Malaysia’s billion-dollar stimulus plans will be fast-tracked after Prime Minister Najib Razak announced his new Cabinet Thursday.
Bumiputra-Commerce rose 2.7 per cent to 7.70 and Public Bank added 2.5 per cent to 8.10.
Government-linked construction stocks also posted some solid gains with MRCB adding 2.6 per cent to 1.00 ringgit, while IJM Corp. added 2.7 per cent to 4.64.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand composite index rose 9.81 points to close at 453.88.
However, further gains were limited by escalating anti-government protests in the kingdom, dealers said.
A mass rally spread to the Thai beach resort of Pattaya on Friday with demonstrators threatening to disrupt a summit of Asian leaders being held there.
But the group called off protesters who had congregated at various sites in Bangkok later in the day, while Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has refused to bow to their demands that he step down and call fresh elections.
Thailand’s biggest lender Bangkok Bank rose 1.50 baht to close at 78.75. Coal miner Banpu advanced 4.00 to 221.00. Thai Airways edged up 0.45 to 9.75.



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