Asia: Higher after rally on Wall St

Business Times

HONG KONG: Asian markets climbed yesterday, boosted by bargain-hunting and a positive lead from Wall Street that came despite a worse-than-expected first quarter contraction in the United States economy.

Tokyo rose 0.27 per cent to 15,308.49, Sydney jumped 1.15 per cent, or 62.29 points, to 5464.3 and Seoul added 0.67 per cent to 1,995.05.

In the meantime, Shanghai ended 0.65 per cent higher at 2,038.68.

With little to drive business, investors picked up cheap stocks after Wednesday’s selloff, with sentiment buoyed by a batch of healthy data this week, including Chinese manufacturing and US homes sales and consumer confidence.

In the United States, the Commerce Department said the world’s number one economy shrank a steep 2.9 per cent in the first three months of this year, sharply worse than the previous estimate of one per cent.

On Wall Street, the Dow added 0.29 per cent and the S&P 500 rose 0.49 per cent, while the Nasdaq advanced 0.68 per cent.

In other markets:

q Bangkok rose 0.61 per cent to 1,477.48. Telecoms company Advanced Info Service added 2.79 per cent to 221 baht, while oil company PTT rose 2.67 per cent to 308 baht.

q Jakarta added 0.69 per cent, or 33.44 points, to close at 4,872.42. Palm oil producer Astra Agro Lestari rose 1.03 per cent to 29,300 rupiah, while Hero Supermarket fell 0.93 per cent to 2,665 rupiah.

q Manila climbed 0.84 per cent, or 57.50 points, to close at 6,892.18. Philippine Long Distance Telephone added two per cent to 2,958 pesos and Ayala Land added 0.32 per cent to 31.40 pesos.

q Mumbai fell 0.18 per cent to 25,201.80. Bharat Electronics rose 7.73 per cent to 1961.35 rupees, while United Spirits slid 7.73 per cent to 2589.30 rupees.

q Taipei advanced 0.85 per cent, or 78.78 points, to 9,320.94. Smartphone maker HTC gained 1.5 per cent to T$134.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.81 per cent higher at T$124.5.

q Wellington appreciated by 0.50 per cent, or 35.61 points, to 5,130.15. Trade Me was up 1.16 per cent at NZ$3.49 and Telecom added 0.19 per cent to end the day’s trade at NZ$2.695. AFP