Asia mar­kets mostly lower; dol­lar re­treats

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Asian mar­kets mostly headed lower Thurs­day and the dol­lar re­treated af­ter the Fed­eral Re­serve said any rises in U.S. in­ter­est rates would be slow.

The losses come de­spite another ad­vance on Wall Street, while in­vestors are keep­ing track of Greece’s trou­bled bailout talks as Europe’s lead­ers are warned of the dire con­se­quences of fail­ing to reach a deal.

Tokyo sank 1.13 per­cent, or 228.45 points, to close at 19,990.82, while Hong Kong shed 0.22 per­cent, or 59.13 points, to close at 26,694.66.

Shang­hai tum­bled 3.67 per­cent, or 182.54 points, to 4,785.35 on liq­uid­ity fears as sev­eral new firms pre­pare to list while profit-tak­ers also moved in af­ter a surge in the in­dex over the past year that has seen it pile on about 140 per­cent.

Syd­ney fell 1.26 per­cent, or 70.5 points, to close at 5,524.9 but Seoul ended 0.34 per­cent higher, adding 7.02 points to 2,041.88.

Af­ter a two-day meet­ing the Fed on Wed­nes­day held off hik­ing rates but al­tered its out­look for fu­ture rises, ex­pect­ing a lower up­ward curve than pre­vi­ously forecast.

Af­ter­wards, Fed boss Janet Yellen said its first in­ter­est rate hike in nine years would likely come “later this year.”

How­ever, she added: “My col­leagues and I would like to see more decisive ev­i­dence that a mod­er­ate pace of eco­nomic growth will be sus­tained, so the con­di­tions in the la­bor mar­ket will con­tinue to im­prove and in­fla­tion will move back to two per­cent.”

The prospect of lower bor­row­ing costs boosted U.S. shares. The Dow rose 0.17 per­cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.19 per­cent and the Nas­daq put on 0.18 per­cent.

“Yellen was dovish in the press con­fer­ence,” David Buckle, Lon­don­based head of quan­ti­ta­tive re­search at Fi­delity World­wide In­vest­ment, told Bloomberg News.

“She was at pains to point out that mon­e­tary pol­icy will likely re­main highly ac­com­moda­tive for a long time af­ter the first rate rise.”

The Fed also cut its growth forecast for 2015 to 1.8-2.0 per­cent, from March’s 2.3-2.7 per­cent out­look, to ac­count for the un­ex­pected con­trac­tion in the first quar­ter of the year.

The news put pres­sure on the dol­lar, which was at 122.86 yen in Tokyo Thurs­day, against 123.43 yen in New York and well down from 123.67 yen in Asia ear­lier Wed­nes­day.

Yellen also voiced con­cern about Greece’s debt cri­sis, warn­ing the world econ­omy could see sig­nif­i­cant tur­moil if Athens did not reach an agree­ment with its cred­i­tors on over­haul­ing its bailout.

“This is a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion. In the event that there is not agree­ment I do see the po­ten­tial for dis­rup­tions that could af­fect the Euro­pean eco- nomic out­look and global fi­nan­cial mar­kets,” Yellen said.

Gold fetched US$ 1,195.40 com­pared with US$1,178.47 late Wed­nes­day. In other mar­kets: — Mum­bai rose 1.06 per­cent, or 283.17 points, to end at 27,115.83.

Re­liance In­dus­tries rose 5.41 per­cent to 981.45 ru­pees, min­ing ma­jor Coal In­dia fell 0.92 per­cent to 394.10 ru­pees.

— Bangkok dropped 0.45 per­cent, or 6.75 points, to 1,508.04.

Coal pro­ducer Banpu was flat at 26.00 baht, while Air­ports of Thai­land plunged 3.15 per­cent, or 10.00 baht, to 307.00 baht.

— Sin­ga­pore closed down 0.77 per­cent, or 25.49 points, to 3,300.42.

United Over­seas Bank gained 0.04 per­cent to SG$23.00 while public trans­port firm Com­fortDelGro eased 0.94 per­cent to SG$3.18.

— Jakarta ended down 0.005 per­cent, or 0.254 points, at 4,945.50.

Heavy equip­ment provider United Trac­tors gained 1.75 per­cent to 20,350 ru­piah, while len­der Bank Ne­gara In­done­sia slipped 2.21 per­cent to 5,525 ru­piah.

— Malaysia’s key in­dex slipped 0.51 per­cent, or 8.74 points, to 1,718.12.

AirAsia surged 9.15 per­cent to 1.67 ring­git, and Bri­tish Amer­i­can To­bacco rose 1.35 per­cent to 60.16 ring­git. Gam­ing re­sorts firm Gent­ing lost 2.50 per­cent to close at 8.19 ring­git.

— Welling­ton fell 0.51 per­cent, or 29.56 points, to 5,749.71.

Air New Zealand slumped 9.62 per­cent to NZ$2.395 af­ter ri­val Jet­star an­nounced a do­mes­tic ex­pan­sion, while Cho­rus closed down 2.70 per­cent at NZ$2.88.

— Manila closed 0.94 per­cent, or 70.55 points, higher at 7,606.86.

Uni­ver­sal Robina added 2.86 per­cent to 197.50 pe­sos and Ayala Corp. was up 2.50 per­cent at 799.50 pe­sos but Globe Tele­com fell 0.61 per­cent to 2,600 pe­sos.

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