Sun, Oct 09, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Asian stocks pare weekly losses

TURNAROUND:The MSCI index closed down 0.2 percent, erasing most of the week’s decline, as the European Commission pushed for coordinated action to help banks

Agencies, HONG KONG and TAIPEI

Asian stocks pared weekly losses amid optimism Europe would act to contain its debt crisis and as companies from Samsung Electronics to Aeon boosted profit forecasts.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phones, surged 2.4 percent in Seoul, while Aeon, Japan’s biggest supermarket company, gained 3.2 percent in Tokyo.

“It certainly sounds like policymakers in Europe are understanding the situation with the banking system and getting more willing to recapitalize the banks,” said Belinda Allen, a senior investment analyst at Colonial First State Global Asset Management in Sydney. “That has been a positive step.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.2 percent to 112.95 this week, erasing most of a decline as steep as 5.1 percent, as the European Commission pushed for a coordinated capital injection for banks to shield them from the fallout of a potential Greek debt default.

Taiwan’s share prices continued to gain momentum on Friday from the previous session, with buying focused on financials and large-cap old-economy stocks, while the bellwether electronics sector ran out of steam amid concerns over weakening global demand, dealers said.

“Judging from the gains, I suspect government-run funds stepped in to pick up financial laggards and leaders in the old economy sector, as these stocks have long been favored by government funds,” Arch Shih of TLG Asset Management said.

“Friday is the last trading day before the Oct. 10 National Day holiday. I guess the government tried to boost the bourse to celebrate the special occasion,” Shih said.

Despite the two-day rally, the TAIEX still ended the week down 0.2 percent at 7,211.96, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 3.9 percent after the country’s central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged and signaled it has scope to lower the nation’s borrowing costs if necessary as inflation eases.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.1 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI dropped 0.6 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.7 percent. China’s markets were shut for a weeklong holiday.

Banks and exporters rallied after European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the bank would resume purchases of mortgage-backed securities and reintroduce yearlong loans for banks.

In other markets on Friday:

Manila rose 3.1 percent, or 118.26 points, from Thursday to 4,009.26.

Wellington ended 1.1 percent, or 37.25 points, higher from Thursday at 3,383.46.

Mumbai gained 2.8 percent, or 440.13 points, from Thursday to 16,232.54, snapping four days of losses.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top