Asia up on Greece hopes, ECB easing hits euro
Asian markets rose for a third straight day Wednesday, with Tokyo hitting a more than 18-year high, on confidence Greece will finally hammer out a bailout reform deal with creditors and avert a default.
With expectations high that a lastminute agreement will be reached, the euro resumed its downward spiral against the dollar as traders turned their attention to a possible U.S. rate rise and European monetary easing.
Tokyo climbed 0.28 percent, or 58.61 points, to 20,868.03, its best finish since December 1996.
Equities in Hong Kong rose 0.26 percent, while Shanghai extended the previous day’s gains on improved liquidity. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 71.51 points to 27,404.97 on turnover of HK$117.04 billion (US$15.10 billion).
In Hong Kong on Wednesday one of the big winners was Tencent, which jumped 3.54 percent to HK$163.70 on news it will enter a co-operation agreement on servers and software with mainland firm Dr Peng Telecom.
HSBC eased 0.07 percent to HK$ 73.65, Cathay Pacific was 0.10 percent higher at HK$20.00 and shoemaker Belle International jumped 1.51 percent to HK$9.42.
In mainland China the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2.48 percent, or 113.66 points, to 4,690.15 on turnover of 815.1 billion yuan (US$133.3 billion).
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, rose 1.73 percent, or 48.09 points, to 2,822.73 on turnover of 675.2 billion yuan.
Sydney was flat, adding 2.5 points to close at 5,686.8, and Seoul was 0.21 percent, or 4.33 points, higher at 2,085.53.
Global equity markets are on a roll this week after Greece at the weekend submitted bailout proposals that were welcomed by creditors.
Eurozone finance ministers will meet Wednesday to work on details of the new plan, before a full European Union summit is held the day after.
leaders — elected on an anti-austerity platform — cautioned they had to get any agreement through parliament, with some members of the ruling party claiming red lines on some issues such as tax had been crossed.
Greece must unlock billions of euros in aid before a June 30 deadline to repay an International Monetary Fund debt. It if fails it will default, with some warnings it could be ejected from the EU.
Markets appear to have taken the view that an agreement in Greece “is a foregone conclusion,” Ric Spooner, chief market analyst in Sydney at CMC Markets, told Bloomberg News.
On Wall Street Tuesday the Dow added 0.13 percent and the S&P 500 nudged up 0.06 percent. The Nas- daq put on 0.12 percent to end at another record for a second day in a row.
And in Europe, Athens rose more than six percent, adding to a nine percent gain Monday.
There were also advances in Paris, Frankfurt, London, Lisbon, Rome and Madrid.
Gold fetched US$1,178.00 compared with US$1,183.00 late Monday. In other markets: — Singapore closed up 0.35 percent, or 11.55 points, to 3,351.33.
Agribusiness company Wilmar International fell 0.30 percent to SG$3.30 while media group Singapore Press Holdings gained 0.48 percent to SG$4.15.
— Mumbai fell 0.27 percent, or 74.70 points, to end at 27,729.67 points.
Hindalco Industries fell 3.70 percent to 117.15 rupees, while Bharat Heavy Electricals rose 4.06 percent to 253.95 rupees.
— Jakarta ended up 0.32 percent, or 15.87 points, at 4,953.52.
Private hospital group Siloam International Hospitals gained 5.15 percent to 14,300 rupiah, while Bank Central Asia Tbk slipped 0.37 percent to 13,625 rupiah.
— Malaysia gained 0.28 percent, or 4.82 points, to 1,731.68.
Maybank went up 0.11 percent to 9.29 ringgit, Tenaga Nasional fell 2.14 percent to 12.78 ringgit while Genting Malaysia gained 0.95 per- cent to 4.26 ringgit.
— Bangkok gained 1.00 percent, or 15.03 points, to close at 1,518.26.
Coal producer Banpu rose 1.96 percent to close at 26.00 baht while Bangkok Bank added 0.56 percent to 179.00 baht.
— Wellington ended marginally higher, adding 3.35 points to 5,775.48.
Air New Zealand was up 0.99 percent at NZ$2.55 and Spark was unchanged at NZ$2.79.
— Manila closed 1.21 percent, or 91.77 points, higher at 7,643.33.
Ayala Land was up 0.4 percent at 38 pesos, Philippine Long Distance Telephone gained 2.49 percent to 2,880 pesos and Metrobank jumped 2.14 percent to 92.95 pesos.