Euro shakes off Greece woes in Asia, stocks rise
The euro edged up in Asia Wednesday despite Greece hitting out at its creditors as its debt reform talks remain in stalemate, while stocks mostly rose after a positive lead from Wall Street ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.
With the release of some disappointing U.S. data and the Greek crisis dragging on, analysts said dealers are hoping the Fed puts back a rate hike, which is expected by the end of the year.
Shanghai surged 1.65 percent, or 80.47 points, to 4,967.90 and Hong Kong added 0.70 percent, or 187.09 points, to close at 26,753.79
Sydney rose 1.08 percent, or 59.6 points, to close at 5,595.4 and Seoul ended 0.30 percent higher, adding 6.14 points to 2,034.86. Tokyo eased 0.19 percent, or 38.67 points, to 20,219.27.
Fears Athens will default and crash out of the eurozone increased Tuesday when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused creditors of trying to “humiliate” his country and said the IMF bore “criminal responsibility” for austerity measures that plunged it into recession.
His outburst comes after talks between the two sides broke down Sunday and have yet to restart, and led to calls for him to tone down his rhetoric to reach an agreement.
With the stalemate showing no signs of ending, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told Tsipras in a phone call Tuesday he should make “a serious move to reach a pragmatic compromise with its creditors.”
Failing to reach a deal “would create immediate hardship for Greece and broad uncertainties for Europe and the global economy,” Lew warned, according to a statement from the Treasury.
Analysts said the crisis would likely be in focus when the Fed concludes its meeting l ater Wednesday, with its head Janet Yellen due to hold a news conference soon after. Dealers are hoping for some clearer guidance on its plans for raising interest rates, with fears a hike too soon could hit the global economy.
“I expect there to be a sense of relief if Yellen says that they won’t hurry into rate hikes, or says something supportive towards a recovery in the U.S. economy,” Hiroichi Nishi, a manager of investment research and services at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News.
“The market continues to be wary of Greece’s possible default.”
And Shane Oliver, the head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney, added: “Yellen is unlikely to come across as overly hawkish given the Greek situation.”
A strong run of recent data has increased expectations for a rate rise as soon as September but this has been slightly tempered by below-forecast reports this week on housing starts and factory output.
On Wall Street, the Dow rose 0.64 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.57 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 0.51 percent.
Gold fetched US$1,178.47 compared with US$1,183.25 late Tuesday. In other markets: — Mumbai closed up 0.55 percent, or 146.15 points, at 26,832.66.
Tata Steel soared 3.62 percent to 305.10 rupees while Vedanta Ltd plunged 3.14 percent to 173.00 rupees.
— Bangkok added 0.77 percent, or 11.51 points, to 1,514.79.
Coal producer Banpu climbed 0.97 percent, or 0.25 baht, to 26.00 baht, while Bangkok Bank gained 0.28 percent, or 0.50 baht, to 180.00 baht.
— Singapore closed up 0.84 percent, or 27.82 points, to 3,325.91.
Singapore Telecom gained 1.21 percent to SG$4.20 while real estate developer Capitaland fell 0.30 percent to SG$3.32.
— Jakarta ended up 1.50 percent, or 73.154 points, at 4,945.75.
Taxi operator Blue Bird Tbk gained 1.27 percent to 8,000 rupiah, while palm oil giant Astra Agro Lestari fell 1.75 percent to close at 22,500 rupiah.
— Malaysia’s key stock index closed 0.27 percent, or 4.62 points higher, at 1,726.86.
Maybank added 0.55 percent to 9.20 ringgit, Telekom gained 0.30 percent to 6.74 while Tenaga lost 0.45 percent to 13.16 ringgit.
— Wellington fell 0.60 percent, or 34.67 points, to 5,779.26.
Fletcher Building was down 2.39 percent at NZ$8.17 and Spark slipped 1.80 percent to NZ$2.735.
— Manila closed 0.44 percent higher, adding 30.83 points to 7,536.31.
Universal Robina Corp. rose 5.49 percent to 192 pesos but Alliance Global Group fell 0.22 percent to 22.45 pesos.