Asian stocks mostly down de­spite Wall St. record

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Shang­hai and Tokyo shares were hit by profit-tak­ing Fri­day but most other Asian mar­kets rose af­ter a pos­i­tive U.S. lead as the Nas­daq broke a 15-year-old record high.

The euro ad­vanced ahead of a eu­ro­zone meet­ing on Greece’s debt cri­sis, while oil prices edged down af­ter an­other rally that has been fu­eled by wor­ries about un­rest in Ye­men.

Tokyo, which hit a 15-year high Thurs­day af­ter a three-day rally, slipped 0.83 per­cent. The in­dex lost 167.61 points to end at 20,020.04, with a stronger yen also hit­ting ex­porters.

Shang­hai gave back 0.47 per­cent, or 20.82 points, to 4,393.69, and Seoul fell 0.63 per­cent, or 13.61 points, to close at 2,159.80.

How­ever, Syd­ney ral­lied 1.51 per­cent, or 88.53 points, to 5,933.3 as en­ergy firms were helped by higher oil prices.

And Hong Kong jumped 233.28 points to 28,060.98 — the first time it has ended above 20,000 since De­cem­ber 2007 — boosted by on­go­ing hopes for more stim­u­lus to boost the Chi­nese econ­omy.

The Nas­daq com­pos­ite crossed into record ter­ri­tory as U.S. stocks turned higher in af­ter­noon trad­ing Thurs­day, de­spite mixed earn­ings re­ports from Gen­eral Mo­tors, Proc­ter & Gam­ble and oth­ers.

Af­ter a slug­gish morn­ing, the Nas­daq moved above its record close of 5,048.62 from March 2000 shortly be­fore noon. In af­ter­noon trad­ing the in­dex was up 30 points, or 0.6 per­cent, at 5,066.

The in­dex added 0.42 per­cent to fin­ish at 5,056.06, fi­nally mak­ing up the nearly 4,000 points lost in a stunning crash that fol­lowed the pre­vi­ous closing high set on March 10, 2000.

The Dow gained 0.11 per­cent and the S&P added 0.24 per­cent.

Thurs­day’s ad­vances came de­spite of­fi­cial data show­ing fresh claims for U. S. un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance benefits edged up marginally, while sales of new homes plunged in March af­ter a sharp rise in Fe­bru­ary.

The fig­ures will fur­ther muddy the wa­ters for the Fed­eral Re­serve as it de­bates when to hike record­low in­ter­est rates.

Greece Talks in View

The euro bought US$1.0885 and 129.87 yen against US$1.0823 and 129.39 yen in U.S. trade.

The sin­gle cur­rency is also well up from the US$1.0703 and 128.28 yen in Tokyo ear­lier Thurs­day ahead of the meet­ing of eu­ro­zone fi­nance min­is­ters in Latvia’s cap­i­tal Riga later in the day to talk about Greece.

The Eu­rogroup meet­ing comes with Athens run­ning out of cash and strug­gling to reach a bailout re­form deal with its cred­i­tors that will un­lock bil­lions of eu­ros to ser­vice its debts to avert a de­fault and likely exit from the eu­ro­zone.

How­ever, Kathy Lien of BK As­set Man­age­ment said that while there was op­ti­mism an agree­ment could be reached “in re­al­ity the re­bound in (the euro) re­flects short cov­er­ing ahead of the meet­ing.”

U.S. bench­mark West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate fell 28 cents to US$57.46 while Brent dipped 19 cents to US$64.66.

On Thurs­day WTI gained US$1.58 and Brent ad­vanced US$2.12.

Gold fetched US$1,191.95 against US$1,189.92 late Thurs­day. In other mar­kets: — Sin­ga­pore gained 0.29 per­cent, or 10.25 points, to 3,513.00.

United Over­seas Bank climbed 1.27 per­cent to SG$24.70 while real es­tate de­vel­oper Cap­i­taLand ad­vanced 1.36 per­cent to SG$3.72.

— Kuala Lumpur gained 16.50 points, or 0.89 per­cent, to 1,862.58.

Public Bank rose 0.61 per­cent to 19.70 ring­git, Sime Darby went up 0.32 per­cent to 9.28 while Telekom Malaysia lost 0.53 per­cent to 7.46 ring­git.

— Bangkok added 0.69 per­cent, or 10.62 points, to 1,555.46.

Oil com­pany PTT climbed 3.19 per­cent to 356.00 baht, while Air­ports of Thai­land rose 1.37 per­cent to 295.00 baht.

— Jakarta fell 0.02 per­cent, or 0.85 points, to 5,435.35.

Palm oil pro­ducer As­tra Agro Les­tari slumped 4.76 per­cent to 22,000 ru­piah, while ce­ment maker In­do­ce­ment Tung­gal Prakarsa rose 0.54 per­cent to 23,325 ru­piah.

— Manila rose 0.70 per­cent, or 55.20 points, to 7,947.25.

Top-traded Ayala land was down 0.25 per­cent to 39.60 pe­sos, SM Prime Hold­ings rose 1.22 per­cent to 19.84 pe­sos, while Metrobank was up 0.21 per­cent at 97.20 pe­sos.

— Welling­ton rose 0.13 per­cent, or 7.45 points, to 5,765.36.

Ware­house Group was up 0.71 per­cent at NZ$2.82 and Trade Me gained 2.42 per­cent to NZ$3.81.

— Mumbai fell 1.07 per­cent, or 297.08 points, to 27,437.94 points.

IT ma­jor In­fosys slid 5.95 per­cent to 1,996.25 ru­pees, while util­ity ma­jor Oil & Nat­u­ral Gas Cor­po­ra­tion rose 2.60 per­cent to 315.80 ru­pees.

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