Barefoot Investor: Asia Ends Higher; Nikkei Rises Above 10,000

Asian stocks surged at the finish line on Monday, after U.S. markets posted their best week in two years on easing debt and economic fears, as momentum swings in behind riskier assets.

The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 Index, which measures markets across Asia, gained 1.3 percent.

The Nikkei stock average climbed above 10,000 for the first time in two months, boosted by buying from Asian investors, but traders said the rally may be short-lived without more signs of economic stability in major markets.

The benchmark Nikkei ended up 1.0 percent at 9,965.09 after rising as high as 10,005.75, trading above 10,000 for the first time since May 2. The broader Topix index gained 1.2 percent to 864.11.

Honda Motor surged 3.5 percent after the Nikkei business daily reported that the company will raise its motorcycle output in Indonesia to an annualized level of 4.3 million units starting this month, as growing local sales are likely to overshoot the initial target.

Shares in Bridgestone, Japan's largest tire maker, jumped 2.8 percent after marking a 2-1/2-year high, as the firm said it would lift truck and bus tire prices in Japan by an average of 10 percent.

Seoul shares rose helped by strong U.S. manufacturing data, sustained foreign buying and firm gains in automakers and brokerages like Hyundai Motor and Woori Investment & Securities.

But Korea Exchange Bank shares tumbled 4.7 percent after news U.S. buyout fund Lone Star would secure a $466 million dividend payout from its stake in the lender.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index ended up 0.92 percent at 2,145.30 points.

Australian stocks finished off the day's highs following a round of softer-than-expected local economic data and a warning from Standard & Poor's that two rollover proposals for Greek debt would amount to a selective default.

Australian retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.6 percent in May, the biggest drop in seven months and another sign of consumer caution that adds to the case against a hike in interest rates in the near term.

Merger talk was the highlight as shares in Australia's Treasury Wine Estates surged as much as 11.3 percent to a record following a report that China's Bright Food Group was considering a bid.

Australia's two biggest airlines, Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia, both took off after regulators grounded Tiger Airways' local operations at the weekend for at a least a week, right at the start of Australia's school-holiday season.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index gained 19.5 points to 4,621.7. The index slipped 0.4 percent on Friday, but still managed its best weekly gain in three months.

China Shares End at 6-Week High

China's main stock index ended up 1.9 percent, led by auto stocks, after local brokerages recently forecast the market would stage a decent rally in the third quarter, citing factors including a possible slowdown of official tightening steps.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index finished at 2,812.8 points, a 6-week high and extending a technical rebound over the past two weeks.

Auto shares shone after the official Shanghai Securities News in a report cited analysts as saying that the domestic industry would remain robust this year despite a slowdown in its growth after rapid expansion in the past two years.

Yuan-denominated A-shares in Warren Buffet-backed BYD went 10-percent limit-up, continuing its rise since its listing one week ago. Its Hong Kong-listed stock [1128.HK Loading... ()] also jumped at the finish line, up 10.1 percent.

Hong Kong began the third quarter on a strong footing led by a bounce in China-related plays on optimism over a possible slowdown in tightening measures coupled with attractive valuations ahead of corporate results.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index ended 1.7 percent higher at 22,770.5, closing above the 250-day moving average for the first time in three weeks with gains coming on healthier volumes suggesting investor sentiment was improving.

Data showing another strong month for Macau's gambling revenue lifted shares of casino operators. Wynn Macau rose 7.3 percent while SJM Holdings rose 4 percent.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore's STI closed 0.5 percent higher, while Malaysia's KLCI finished flat. (CNBC ASIA,REUTERS)


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...