Sun, Jun 03, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Asian markets shrug off fears of sell-off in China

REGIONAL ROUNDUP Taipei ended the week close to a seven-year high as trading turned aggressive in the wake of jitters over a possible sell-off in Chinese equities

AFP , HONG KONG

Pakistani stockbrokers watch their monitors during trading at the Karachi Stock Exchange in Karachi on Friday. The KSE-100 index crossed the record 13,000-point barrier during intra-day trading, but closed at 12,933 points. Experts say attractive share values, better profitability and hope of improved corporate earnings during the quarter are the factors driving the market upward.

PHOTO: AFP

Asian stocks closed mostly higher on Friday with investors shrugging off a mixed performance by Wall Street and ongoing concerns about a further sell-off in China.

However, fears that Beijing would again move to cool its markets -- after tripling the tax on stock transactions earlier in the week -- resulted in Shanghai falling 2.65 percent and Hong Kong dropping 0.15 percent.

Those investor jitters were limited to China and elsewhere the mood was far more buoyant.

Seoul, up 0.90 percent, and Manila with a gain of 2.09 percent both closed at record highs, while Taipei approached its best finish in seven years with a 1.29 percent rise and Tokyo was at a three-month high with a gain of 0.47 percent.

Thai investors appeared content after a court banned former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra and his party from politics and its benchmark was 2.24 percent higher.

Jakarta was closed for a public holiday.

TAIPEI

Share prices closed near seven-year highs as investors snapped up laggard stocks in active trade.

Dealers said trading turned aggressive as investors set aside worries over a possible sell-off in Chinese equities as Beijing's move to triple taxes on stock transactions at least slowed the Chinese market's rise.

The weighted index closed up 104.95 points at 8,249.90 on turnover of NT$129.95 billion (US$3.93 billion).

Dealers said the fall in Taipei shares on Thursday may have been overdone given that the rest of the region mostly posted gains.

"In a way, our market corrected its exceptional weakness yesterday, which contrasted with a regional upswing," said an analyst with a local securities house who preferred not to be named.

TOKYO

Share prices ended the week at a fresh three-month high as the weak yen boosted exporters and after the tech-heavy NASDAQ advanced overnight.

Dealers said the market was also feeling relief that this week's beating on the Chinese stock market has had a limited impact in Japan.

The NIKKEI-225 index closed up 83.13 points at 17,958.88. Volume rose to 2.49 billion shares from 2.16 billion on Thursday.

HONG KONG

Share prices closed 0.15 percent weaker, reversing course after the Shanghai bourse finished sharply lower amid worries that China may take additional measures to rein in its markets.

Major local blue chips reversed early gains, but China insurers ended higher on news that China plans to allow insurers to invest in overseas equities.

The Hang Seng Index closed down 31.6 points at 20,602.87.

SEOUL

Share prices closed 0.9 percent higher, chalking up a fifth consecutive record finish on the week led by Samsung Electronics' nearly four percent gain.

Dealers said a return to favour of the key IT stocks and brokerages helped the market to an unprecedented 13th week of gains although stocks finished well off their highs on the day as retail investors took some quick profits.

The KOSPI index ended up 15.33 points at 1,716.24.

SHANGHAI

Share prices closed 2.65 percent lower on continued concerns over more possible tightening policies following a hike in stock transaction taxes earlier this week.

Dealers said a late decline wiped out morning gains and brought the Shanghai Composite Index below the key 4,000 points level at one stage, with swings of over 200 points in the trading range, but it managed to close the day just above 4,000.

The Shanghai Composite Index fell 108.91 points or 2.65 percent at 4,000.72.

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