Sun, Sep 16, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Asian stocks bolstered by soaring oil prices

FAVORABLE MOOD An upswing in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong boosted stocks in Taiwan, particularly those with exposure to the China market, dealers said


A woman walks past a board displaying the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong on Friday. The Hang Seng Index was up 916 points, or 3.82 percent, for the week, closing at 24,898.11 on Friday.


Asian oil stocks rose, paced by Inpex Holdings Ltd and CNOOC Ltd (中國海洋石油), after the price of crude closed above US$80 a barrel for the first time.

Samsung Electronics Co led exporters lower on concern US spending will slow after the world's biggest economy unexpectedly lost jobs. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, Japan's biggest lender, slid after the nation's economy shrank and Nomura Holdings Ltd. cut its rating on bank stocks.

Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (日月光半導體), the world's biggest chip packager and tester, paced a decline among technology stocks after UBS AG said chip prices have peaked.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index was little changed this week at 152.38, after climbing 11 percent in the previous three weeks. A measure of energy stocks that includes Inpex had the biggest gain among the benchmark's 10 industry groups, while technology stocks lost the most.

Japan's NIKKEI 225 Stock Average was little changed at 16,127.42, while the broader TOPIX Index lost 0.8 percent this week. Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd (新鴻基地產) led Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index to its third straight record on Friday. Benchmarks elsewhere in the region advanced except in South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and the Philippines.

Inpex, Japan's largest energy explorer, rose 5.6 percent to ?1.13 million (US$9,858.12). CNOOC, China's biggest offshore oil producer, advanced 5.7 percent to HK$10.30 (US$1.32), a record.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped 3.8 percent this week to close at a record on Friday for a third straight day. Sun Hung Kai, the city's No. 1 developer by market value, climbed 14 percent to HK$121. Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd (長江實業), the second-largest developer, added 9.6 percent to HK$127.80, its highest close on record.


Taiwanese share prices closed 1.17 percent higher alongside firmer overseas markets, as companies with strong operations in China led gains amid strong demand there.

Dealers said Chang Hwa Bank (彰化銀行) led financials higher on hopes that it will have its assets reassessed.

The TAIEX closed up 104.21 points at 9,031.63 on turnover of NT$115.39 billion (US$3.49 billion).

The upswing in regional markets such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong encouraged investors here to follow suit, giving a boost to Taiwanese companies -- particularly those with exposure to the China market in the run-up to long holidays there next month, dealers said.

"Now we have a [good] cycle, with New York leading regional markets, including the local bourse, to score gains following yesterday's declines," said Johnny Lee, a manager with President Securities (統一證券).


Japanese share prices closed up almost two percent after Wall Street staged a strong rally overnight on hopes for a turnaround in the troubled US auto industry.

Dealers said investors were also encouraged by a softer yen.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark NIKKEI-225 index of leading shares rose 306.23 points or 1.94 percent to end the day at 16,127.42, ending above the key 16,000 points level for the first time in a week ahead of a three-day weekend.


Hong Kong share prices closed at a record high again, up 1.47 percent, as property stocks continued to shine on hopes of lower interest rates. The Hang Seng Index closed up 361.09 points at 24,898.11.


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