Sun, Jul 15, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Asian stocks shoot up as they track Wall Street gains

GAINS The TAIEX could rise further next week on new market-friendly government policies, with investors expected to target property, financial and biotech stocks

AFP , HONG KONG AND TAIPEI

Traders pose for pictures at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday. The Hang Seng index surged 290.27 points to close at 23,099.29 on Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

Asian stocks rallied sharply higher on Friday after Wall Street notched up its strongest daily performance in almost four years for another record finish.

Mergers and upbeat retail figures were behind the 2 percent surge in New York with Asia tracking the performance. This resulted in Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore and Jakarta all striking best-ever closes.

Tokyo was typical for the day, advancing 1.42 percent with investors also buoyed by weakness in the yen, which makes exports cheaper.

Taipei was up 1.25 percent, Kuala Lumpur climbed 1.32 percent and Bangkok was up 1.81 percent.

Sydney was up 0.41 percent with sentiment supported by Rio Tinto's US$38.1 billion bid for Alcan. Manila rose 0.78 percent.

TAIPEI

Taiwanese share prices are expected to rise again next week with foreign funds continuing to flow into the bourse on hopes the government will introduce market-friendly policies ahead of elections due early next year, dealers said on Friday.

Market sentiment has improved dramatically after the benchmark repeated seven-year highs while regional markets and Wall Street consistently broke record and multi-year highs, they said.

For the week to Friday, the weighted TAIEX index closed up 282.99 points or 3.08 percent at 9,471.30 after a 3.43 percent increase a week earlier. It is expected to move between 9,400 points and 9,700 next week.

Average daily turnover stood at NT$229.10 billion (US$6.98 billion), compared with NT$183.82 billion the previous week.

Dealers said government support for the markets could result in investors targeting property, financial and biotech stocks, which have been put on the government's list for development.

TOKYO

Japanese share prices closed 1.42 percent higher as investors cheered Thursday's rise on Wall Street, where stocks posted the sharpest percentage gain in almost four years.

Dealers said the weakness of the yen was another positive factor, keeping investors optimistic about prospects for exporter earnings.

The NIKKEI-225 index rose 254.81 points to 18,238.95.

HONG KONG

Share prices closed 1.27 percent higher, with the benchmark hitting another milestone as it broke 23,000 points for the first time, helped by continued gains in heavyweight China Mobile.

The Hang Seng Index closed up 290.27 points at 23,099.29.

"The market broke the psychological barrier of 23,000, well in line with expectation, after Wall Street posted strong gains overnight," said Jackson Wong, investment manager at Tanrich Securities.

SEOUL

Share prices rose 2.78 percent to a fresh record high in bullish trading on expectations that the corporate earnings momentum will continue in the second half.

Dealers said Wall Street's overnight rally sparked an early lift, with sentiment boosted further by an optimistic outlook from Samsung Electronics.

The KOSPI index closed up 53.18 points at 1,962.93.

SYDNEY

Share prices rose 0.41 percent on Friday as Rio Tinto's US$38.1 billion bid for Alcan sparked a frenzy of takeover speculation about possible deals in the key resources sector.

The S&P/ASX 200 ended up 26.0 points at 6,389.4.

SHANGHAI

Share prices closed flat amid fresh fears of possible government measures to cool the country's booming economy.

Despite gains by insurance companies, the market was expected to consolidate amid fresh concerns about imminent curbs on liquidity after robust growth in foreign reserves in the first half 2007, dealers said.

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