Asian stocks mostly higher in quiet holiday trad­ing

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

The few Asian stock mar­kets that were trad­ing Fri­day mostly ad­vanced, with shares in Tokyo and Shang­hai up and Seoul stocks slightly lower. Fi­nan­cial mar­kets in Europe, the United States and most of Asia were closed for the Good Fri­day holiday.

Ja­pan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 per­cent to 17,002.75. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.1 per­cent at 1,983.81. China's Shang­hai Com­pos­ite Index traded 0.6 per­cent higher at 2,979.43. Mar­kets in Aus­tralia, Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore, In­done­sia and In­dia that were closed for the Good Fri­day holiday will re­main closed un­til Mon­day for Easter.

Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang said on Thurs­day at an an­nual fo­rum in China that the coun­try will main­tain medium-high growth and it has many tools to turn the econ­omy around. Chi­nese lead­ers have set an eco­nomic growth tar­get of 6.5 to 7 per­cent for this year.

"Al­though by most stan­dards the mar­ket is run­ning quiet, a re­cent shift in global in­vestor sen­ti­ment has been ben­e­fi­cial for China," Stephen Innes, se­nior for­eign ex­change trader at OANDA Asia Pa­cific, said in a daily com­men­tary. "The long-term prospects are still mud­dled how­ever. Cap­i­tal out­flows will be a con­cern along with China's strug­gling econ­omy."

The US stock mar­ket closed nearly un­changed on Thurs­day in very light trad­ing ahead of the Easter holiday week­end. The Dow rose 0.1 per­cent to 17,515.73. The S&P 500 index slipped 0.04 per­cent to 2,035.94. The Nas­daq added 0.1 per­cent to 4,773.50.

The dol­lar rose af­ter some Fed bank pres­i­dents ear­lier this week made pub­lic com­ments that sug­gested the pace of rate hikes might not be slowed af­ter all. The dol­lar strength­ened to 113.02 yen from 112.79 yen. The euro fell to $1.1169 from $1.1180.

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