Asian stocks mostly up, US dol­lar edges lower

The China Post - - MARKET -

Most Asian mar­kets ad­vanced Fri­day on a healthy batch of eco­nomic growth data out of the United States but Shang­hai sank again, ex­tend­ing the pre­vi­ous day's sell­off.

The dol­lar ticked up, with an­a­lysts tip­ping fur­ther gains on ex­pec­ta­tions for a Fed­eral Re­serve in­ter­est rate rise as soon as Septem­ber.

Tokyo re­versed morn­ing losses to end 0.30 per­cent higher, adding 62.41 points to 20,585.24, while Syd­ney was up 0.52 per­cent, or 29.68 points, at 5,699.2 and Seoul gained 0.55 per­cent, or 11.13 points, to 2,030.16.

Hong Kong was 0.56 per­cent higher, adding 138.30 points to 24,636.28, while Shang­hai ended down 1.13 per­cent, or 42.04 points, at 3,663.73 as it strug­gles to re­cover from a re­cent plunge.

Con­fi­dence was given a shot in the arm by a re­port from the U.S. Com­merce Depart­ment Thurs­day that said the world's top econ­omy ex­panded at an an­nual rate of 2.3 per­cent in the April-June pe­riod, the strong­est growth since the third quar­ter of 2014.

And while the fig­ure was a lit­tle be­low ex­pec­ta­tions, the depart­ment also re­vised up its es­ti­mate on the first quar­ter of the year — which was hit by se­vere win­ter weather — to growth of 0.6 per­cent, from a 0.2 per­cent con­trac­tion.

How­ever, on Wall Street the Dow and S&P 500 were marginally lower while the Nas­daq rose 0.35 per­cent.

The news in­creased the like­li­hood the Fed will lift rates sooner rather than later.

The in­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry of Ja­pan said house­hold spend­ing fell 2 per­cent year-on-year in June against mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions for an in­crease af­ter a rise of 4.8 per­cent in May.

Core in­fla­tion, ex­clud­ing volatile fresh food prices, was up 0.1 per­cent, well short of the Bank of Ja­pan's 2-per­cent tar­get.

Yasunari Ueno, chief mar­ket economist at Mizuho Se­cu­ri­ties, said: "I can't see when the BOJ will be able reach the 2-per­cent in­fla­tion tar­get at all.

"It ap­pears to be a mat­ter

of time be­fore the BOJ adds mon­e­tary stim­u­lus."

Shang­hai stocks con­tinue to be buf­feted as gov­ern­ment mea­sures at the start of the month to con­tain a plunge were un­able to pre­vent another round of fierce selling this week.

The bench­mark in­dex slumped more than 30 per­cent be­tween June 12 and July 8, when Bei­jing un­veiled a se­ries of strict mea­sures to avert a melt­down, which prompted a slight re­cov­ery.

How­ever, a be­low- forecast man­u­fac­tur­ing read­ing last Fri­day sparked another round of panic — send­ing shares col­laps­ing 8.48 per­cent Mon­day — among main­land in­vestors. The mar­ket is now down 14 per­cent over the month.

On Fri­day China's two stock ex­changes put trad­ing lim­its on more than 20 ac­counts as the mar­ket reg­u­la­tor an­nounced a crack­down on com­put­er­ized "pro­gram trad­ing," which it blamed for the re­cent volatil­ity.

The China Se­cu­ri­ties Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing in­sti­tu­tions and in­di­vid­u­als for pro­gram trad­ing, which had am­pli­fied "big fluc­tu­a­tions" on the stock mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment on its web­site.

Gold fetched US$1,080.88 an ounce com­pared with US$1,086.80 late Thurs­day. In other mar­kets: — Mum­bai rose 1.48 per­cent, or 409.21 points, to end at 28,114.56.

State Bank of In­dia rose 5.25 per­cent to 270.40 ru­pees, while Bharat Heavy Elec­tri­cals fell 2.84 per­cent to 278.70 ru­pees.

— Jakarta ended up 1.91 per­cent, or 90.04 points, at 4,802.53.

Bank Rakyat In­done­sia gained 6.95 per­cent to 10,000 ru­piah, while nickel miner Vale In­done­sia fell 6.00 per­cent to 1,960 ru­piah.

— Bangkok rose 1.60 per­cent, or 22.63 points, to 1,440.12.

Siam Com­mer­cial Bank gained 3.40 per­cent to 152.00 baht, while oil com­pany PTT added 2.84 per­cent to 326.00 baht.

— Sin­ga­pore fell 1.45 per­cent, or 47.02 points, to close at 3,202.50.

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines closed 1.29 per­cent lower at SG$10.74 and prop­erty firm City De­vel­op­ments tum­bled 1.37 per­cent to SG$9.33.

— Kuala Lumpur's main in­dex rose 1.37 per­cent, or 23.22 points, to close the day on 1,723.14.

Hong Leong Fi­nan­cial Group added 3.52 per­cent to close at 15.86 ring­git and Bri­tish Amer­i­can To­bacco rose 2.27 per­cent to 67.50 ring­git.

— Welling­ton rose 0.49 per­cent, or 29.11 points, to 5,920.96.

Cho­rus was up 0.35 per­cent at NZ$2.87 and Fletcher Build­ing gained 0.25 per­cent to NZ$7.92.

— Manila gained 0.53 per­cent, or 39.61 points, to 7,550.00.

Philip­pine Long Dis­tance Tele­phone slipped 0.96 per­cent to 2,886.00 pe­sos, Metrobank eased 0.73 per­cent to 88.35 pe­sos and Ayala Land was up 0.54 per­cent to 37.40 pe­sos.

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