Sun, May 13, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Asian exchanges retreat from record highs

PULLBACK Seoul bucked the regional trend as bargain hunters pushed the KOSPI index higher, contrasting with sharp drops in benchmarks around Asia on Friday


A Chinese investor slumps across two chairs as he monitors stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing on Friday. Chinese shares dipped on Friday following recent record gains as investors took profits and expressed wariness about possible government measures to cool economic growth.


Asian stocks closed lower on Friday with investors taking their lead from Wall Street, where weak economic data sparked another bout of jitters over the state of the US economy.

This resulted in the Dow Jones falling 1.11 percent. Tokyo followed suit and closed 1.03 percent lower, while benchmarks around the region, most of which had been trading at or near record highs, also fell sharply.

Taipei fell 0.81 percent, Hong Kong shed 1.34 percent, Sydney was down 0.91 percent, Singapore was 0.64 percent lower, Jakarta tumbled 1.21 percent and even record-smashing Shanghai paused for breath and closed 0.69 percent down.

However, Seoul stood out by gaining 0.24 percent, ending the day at another record high after bargain hunters emerged following an early sell-off.


Share prices closed 0.81 percent lower, tracking the slide on Wall Street overnight on concerns over US consumer spending and the state of the US economy following weak retail sales data for last month.

Dealers said bellwether technology stocks fell in step with the pullback in their US counterparts. Weakness in a number of regional markets also helped drag down local sentiment.

The weighted index closed down 65.32 points at 8,031.54. Turnover was thin at NT$82.35 billion (US$2.47 billion US).

Fuhwa Securities Corp (復華證券) assistant vice president Samson Chueh (闕山雄) said that heavyweight technology stocks were pressured by sluggish trade in their US peers.

"The New York lead triggered profit-taking on the local bourse following previous rises," Chueh said.

Investors chose a cautious approach following the market's recent failure to push the index further beyond 8,100 points.

"With technical resistance present, investors were reluctant to commit so much to position-building," he said, adding that caution over technical factors were compounded by political concerns.

"Apart from the developments in major foreign markets, President Chen Shui-bian's [陳水扁] upcoming [speech] could also affect sentiment next week," he said, referring to Chen's speech during his seventh inauguration anniversary next Sunday, where he might touch on the sensitive issue of cross-straits relations.


Share prices closed 1.03 percent lower after heavy losses on Wall Street overnight and concern over domestic earnings reports.

Dealers said US shares fell sharply as weak sales figures at major retailers, including behemoth Wal-Mart, raised concerns about consumer spending.

The NIKKEI-225 index was down 183.24 points at 17,553.72.

Share prices slid sharply in the morning session in reaction to the falls on Wall Street overnight although they recouped some of the losses by the close on bargain hunting, dealers said.


Share prices closed 1.34 percent lower following a tumble on Wall Street overnight after weak data stoked fresh concerns about the US economy.

Dealers said China related stocks were hit by worries that mainland authorities will announce further credit-tightening measures to rein in the country's economy and markets, they said, noting a weaker finish on the Shanghai bourse.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 278.06 points at 20,468.21.


Share prices rose 0.24 percent for a third consecutive record finish, with retail investors emerging as active buyers to push the main index above 1,600 points.

Dealers said the market registered steep losses in early trade, tracking the overnight declines on Wall Street and in other key Asian markets, amid pre-weekend caution.

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