Sun, Nov 04, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Regional stocks rise as investors gain confidence

RISK In Taipei investors sold stocks across the board on Friday. The electronics and financial sectors both dropped by more than 3 percent

BLOOMBERG AND AFP , HONG KONG

A Taiwanese investor checks the electronic display board at a stock exchange in Taipei on Friday. Taiwan's TAIEX fell 3.39 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 3.3 percent while indexes in China, Japan and South Korea fell more than 2 percent.

PHOTO: DAVID CHANG, EPA

Asian stocks rose this week, led by Toyota Motor Corp, after the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates and US economic growth accelerated, bolstering confidence in the region's biggest export market.

"The Fed didn't give signs of a further slowdown and that's given investors the confidence to take risks again," said Thue Isen, who manages US$1 billion at Bankinvest Group in Singapore.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (中國石油化學) jumped after the Chinese government raised the cost of fuel to help refiners cover record oil prices that touched US$96 a barrel.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co, Japan's largest drugmaker, fell by the most in nine years after saying its new pill for lowering cholesterol will be delayed.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3 percent to 168.54 this week. The measure reached a record on Thursday after the Fed lowered interest rates the day earlier by a quarter percentage point to help the US economy withstand the fallout from the credit collapse in August.

TAIPEI

Taiwanese share prices closed sharply lower, down 3.39 percent as the market followed Wall Street's slide on concerns over high crude oil prices and a slowing US economy.

Dealers said selling was across the board, with the electronics and financial sectors both dropping by more than 3 percent.

The weighted index closed down 325.14 points at 9,273.09 on turnover of NT$172.94 billion (US$5.34 billion).

"Apparently we could not escape the bear run," an analyst with a leading local house said.

"Some bargain-hunting was seen early on, but it quickly faded as investors were just so eager to run away from the sight of tumbling markets everywhere," said the analyst, who declined to be named.

For next week's direction, the local bourse will watch Wall Street's performance later on Friday, especially after the release of US jobs data.

TOKYO

Japanese share prices slumped more than 2 percent on Friday, hit by heavy losses on Wall Street as concerns about the fallout from recent credit market turmoil returned.

The NIKKEI-225 index dropped 352.92 points or 2.09 percent to 16,517.48, reflecting sharp falls across Asia. Turnover rose to 2.08 billion shares from 2.07 billion on Thursday.

Stocks tracked Wall Street lower after the Dow Jones index lost 2.6 percent on Thursday, more than erasing the previous day's gains sparked by a Federal Reserve interest rate cut.

HONG KONG

Share prices closed sharply lower on Friday, down 3.3 percent with property stocks dragging on the market as investors opted to lock in recent gains.

The Hang Seng Index ended the day 1,024.54 points down at 30,468.34.

Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Ltd (利豐), which supplies retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc, advanced 4 percent to HK$37.45. US sales made up 72 percent of its receipts last year.

SHANGHAI

Chinese share prices closed sharply lower on Friday, losing 2.31 percent amid heightened concerns that another multibillion dollar public offering will again tie up market funds.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 136.48 points at 5,777.81.

SEOUL

South Korean share prices closed 2.1 percent lower as institutions joined a selling spree alongside foreign investors, with sentiment undermined by the decline on Wall Street.

Dealers said a slowing US economy, high oil prices and volatile forex rates raised concerns over whether the local economy would be able to sustain its solid pace of growth.

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