Sun, Aug 13, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Asian bourses mixed on terror fears


Asian stocks closed mixed on Friday in cautious trade with investors unsettled by an alleged terrorist attempt to blow up airliners flying between Britain and the US.

However, dealers said the tone was slightly positive after overnight gains on Wall Street and an easing in oil prices, helping to offset fears over a slowdown in the US economy and further interest rate hikes.

Bangkok was the best performer with a 1.48 percent gain as calm returned to that market after the London bomb threats. Jakarta had a similar day out and rose 1.25 percent.

Elsewhere the mood was more somber with Taipei, Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur all closing virtually flat.

Seoul fell 0.94 percent, Wellington by 0.22 percent while in Tokyo trade was mildly punished by lower than expected economic growth and its benchmark fell 0.42 percent.


Share prices closed 0.11 percent lower as early gains driven by Wall Street's overnight advances gave way to selling on technical factors.

Dealers said lingering concerns about domestic political developments also cast a shadow over the local bourse.

The weighted index closed down 7.51 points at 6,571.10 on turnover of NT$87.27 billion (US$2.67 billion).

Technology stocks managed to stay in positive territory on expectations of increasing demand for products in the peak season, dealers added.

However, technical pressure around the quarterly-moving average of 6,571 points convinced investors to opt for a cautious approach for the broader market this session.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) gained 0.60 to NT$57.40.


Share prices closed down 0.42 percent on news that the world's second largest economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the three months to June.

But losses were contained as the market was impressed with Wall Street's resilience after British authorities foiled an alleged plot to blow up passenger jets to the US, dealers added.

The Nikkei-225 index fell 65.89 points to close at 15,565.02. Volume fell slightly to 1.70 billion shares from 1.72 billion shares on Thursday.

The Japanese government said before the start of trade on Friday that the economy grew 0.2 percent in the three months to June, below analysts' expectations, as US demand for Japanese exports slowed down.

Analysts said the market mood was also subdued ahead of Bank of Japan governor Toshihiko Fukui's press conference.


Share prices closed 0.94 percent lower on selling by foreign investors and the threat of potential terrorist attacks.

Dealers said sentiment was hurt by fears that financial markets may pull back after the unmasking of an alleged terrorist plot against airliners flying out of Britain.

The KOSPI index closed down 12.21 points at 1,292.10. Volume was 223 million shares worth 2.7 trillion won (US$2.81 billion).

"Foreign investors continued their selling amid threats of terrorist attacks, which may weaken broad sentiment around the world," Hana Securities analyst Cho Yong-hyun said.

Samsung Electronics dropped 7,000 won to 607,000.

Hong Kong

Share prices closed firmer led by selected blue chips, including stocks which have recently reported strong first-half earnings, following Wall Street's gains overnight and a fall in oil prices.

However, dealers noted that the market's gains were capped by caution over geopolitical risks, including the foiled alleged terrorist plot in Britain, and the outcome of the latest changes to the 33-member index to be announced later on Friday by index compiler HSI Services.

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