Sun, Sep 03, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Asian markets up on Friday ahead of US jobs data

AFP , HONG KONG

The KOSPI index closed up 3.93 points at 1,356.67. Volume was 206 million shares worth 2.5 trillion won (US$2.6 billion).

"The market firmed above the 120-day moving average of 1,350 points with increased volume and this bodes well for September," Shinyoung Securities analyst Lee Seung-woo said.

SK Telecom gained 4,000 won to 191,000.

Hong Kong

Share prices closed 0.18 percent higher on sustained interest in property on hopes the US Federal Reserve will keep interest rates unchanged at its next policy meeting.

Dealers said recent economic data indicating a slowdown in US growth should prompt the Fed to stay on hold and added US jobs data for last month to be released later on Friday may also build the case for such a move.

Continued interest in China Mobile also supported the market.

The Hang Seng Index closed up 31.45 points at 17,423.72. Turn-over was HK$27.39 billion (US$3.5 billion).

"Buying interest in properties was sustained because some investors are hopeful that jobs data to be released in the US tonight will continue to support the Fed's pause" in interest rate increases, said Castor Pang, strategist at Sun Hung Kai Financial Group.

Shanghai

Share prices closed 1.33 percent lower as investors took profits in banks and telecom stocks after recent gains.

Dealers said the profit-taking was expected and that Friday's losses did not signal a dip in market sentiment, given hopes for fresh fund flows that could help push the market higher next week.

Stocks managed to finish ahead for the week, in part due to a stronger yuan which chalked up three consecutive record finishes although the unit was slightly easier on Friday.

The Shanghai A-share Index lost 23.16 points to 1,720.55 on turnover of 19.64 billion yuan (US$2.46 billion) while the Shenzhen A-share Index was down 6.22 points or 1.42 percent at 432.34 on turnover of 12.04 billion yuan.

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