Nikkei closes at 15-year high, Europe stocks down

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Ja­pan’s stock bench­mark closed above the 20,000-level for the first time in 15 years Wed­nes­day, en­cour­aged by the coun­try’s first monthly trade sur­plus since 2012. Euro­pean stocks fell, how­ever, and Wall Street was ex­pected to open lower.

France’s CAC-40 was down 0.6 per­cent to 5,161.50 and Ger­many’s DAX dropped 1.1 per­cent to 11,812.14. The United King­dom’s FTSE 100 fell 0.6 per­cent to 7,020.34. U.S. shares were set to fall, with Dow fu­tures down 0.3 per­cent and S&P 500 fu­tures off 0.2 per­cent.

Earn­ings re­sults were mixed in Europe, with UK re­tailer Tesco re­port­ing a big 5.7 bil­lion pounds (NT$262.6 bil­lion; US$8.5 bil­lion) loss, though beer maker Heineken and truck maker Volvo posted up­beat fig­ures. In­vestors were also di­gest­ing the Euro­pean Union’s an­nounce­ment that it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Rus­sia’s Gazprom, the world’s big­gest gas pro­ducer, for abus­ing its dom­i­nant mar­ket po­si­tion in Eastern Europe. The move could sour al­ready-weak re­la­tions be­tween Europe with Rus­sia, which have im­posed tit-for-tat sanc­tions.

Tokyo’s bench­mark in­dex closed above 20,000 for the first time in 15 years. The Nikkei 225 in­dex added 1.13 per­cent, or 224.81 points, to fin­ish at 20,133.90. It last closed above the psy­cho­log­i­cally im­por­tant level in April 2000.

The last time the Nikkei was at that level Sony’s ground­break­ing PlaySta­tion 2 was in stores, the dot-com bub­ble was col­laps­ing and U.S Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton still oc­cu­pied the White House.

The broader Topix in­dex of all first- sec­tion shares climbed 0.80 per­cent, or 12.91 points, to 1,621.79.

Ya­hoo Ja­pan rose 2.69 per­cent to 534.0 yen af­ter its U.S. coun­ter­part said it was ex­plor­ing a pos­si­ble sale of its stake in the Ja­panese busi­ness.

Sony closed 0.14 per­cent lower at 3,675.5 yen. Af­ter mar­kets closed, the firm trimmed its loss fore­cast for the just-ended fis­cal year to 126 bil­lion yen from a pre­vi­ous 170 bil­lion yen due to stronger-than-ex­pected sales.

Hong Kong shares closed 0.30 per­cent higher, track­ing a surge in Shang­hai and ex­tend­ing its re­cent rally on hopes for fur­ther econ­o­my­boost­ing mea­sures by China.

The bench­mark Hang Seng I ndex added 83.36 points to 27,933.85 on turnover of HK$187.85 bil­lion ( US$24.24 bil­lion). Shang­hai jumped 2.44 per­cent.

In Hong Kong trade Ten­cent added 2.26 per­cent to HK$162.70, HSBC fell 0.56 per­cent to HK$70.45 and Ping An In­sur­ance added 2.37 per­cent to HK$112.50.

China Mo­bile slipped 1.21 per­cent to HK$114.50, Len­ovo gained 1.70 per­cent to HK$13.16 and PetroChina dipped 0.39 per­cent to HK$10.14.

In main­land China the bench­mark Shang­hai Com­pos­ite In­dex rose 104.87 points to 4,398.49 on turnover of 976.9 bil­lion yuan.

The Shen­zhen Com­pos­ite In­dex, which tracks stocks on main­land China’s sec­ond ex­change, gained 2.74 per­cent, or 59.53 points, to 2,234.46.

But Seoul ended marginally lower, los­ing 0.90 points to 2,143.89, while Syd­ney shed 0.36 per­cent, or 34.84 points, to close at 5,837.50.

Gold fetched US$ 1,199.00 against US$1,198.35 late Tues­day. In other mar­kets: — Sin­ga­pore fell 0.35 per­cent, or 12.37 points, to 3,496.24.

DBS Bank de­clined 0.48 per­cent to SG$20.88 while real es­tate de­vel­oper Cap­i­taland was up 0.27 per­cent to SG$3.66.

— Kuala Lumpur dropped 8.03 points, or 0.43 per­cent, to 1,854.77.

AMMB Hold­ings lost 0.92 per­cent to 6.44 ring­git, while RHB Cap­i­tal rose 1.86 per­cent to end at 8.20 ring­git. Malayan Bank­ing slipped 0.11 per­cent to 9.49 ring­git.

— Bangkok slipped 17.34 points or 1.10 per­cent to 1,552.01

En­ergy firm PTT fell 2.26 per­cent to 346.00 baht, while bank SCB shed 2.54 per­cent to end at 172.50

— Jakarta lost 0.43 per­cent, or 23.45 points, to 5,437.12

Palm oil pro­ducer As­tra Agro Les­tari fell 1.18 per­cent to 23,075 ru­piah, while state-owned lender Bank Mandiri slipped 1.03 per­cent to 12,025 ru­piah.

— Welling­ton re­treated 0.41 per­cent, or 23.90 points, to 5,793.61.

Meri­dan En­ergy slipped 2.38 per­cent to NZ$1.845 and Orion Health was down 1.75 per­cent at NZ$4.50.

— Manila fell 0.18 per­cent, or 13.91 points, to 7,833.03.

Banco de Oro shed 1.55 per­cent to 114.60 pe­sos, SM Prime Hold­ings was down 1.04 per­cent at 19.10 pe­sos and DMCI Hold­ings was un­changed at 14.46 pe­sos.

— Mumbai rose 0.77 per­cent, or 214.09 points, to 27,890.13.

Hin­dus­tan Unilever climbed 3.59 per­cent to 905.10 ru­pees, while in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy firm Wipro fell 6.01 per­cent to 544.00 ru­pees.

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