Asian stocks rose for a seventh week, with the regional benchmark matching its longest winning streak since 2005, as improved manufacturing reports in the US, China, India and Europe overshadowed a stalemate over Greek debt negotiations.
In Taiwan, share prices continued their upward momentum, closing above the 7,700 point mark yesterday as investors hailed a better-than-expected US job report released on Friday, which has eased concerns to some extent over the global economic slowdown, dealers said.
The weighted index yesterday closed up 66.25 points, or 0.86 percent, at 7,741.24, after moving between 7,727.29 and 7,787.89, on turnover of NT$146.14 billion (US$4.95 billion).
The index ended the week up 7.01 percent from Jan. 18, the last trading day before the market closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Financial shares led the upside, while investors have embraced high hopes that the government would liberalize rules to allow Chinese investors to take more stakes in local financial institutions, they said.
The market opened up 0.85 percent on Friday’s close, as investors took cues from rallies on Wall Street and in the European markets after Washington reported its jobless rate for last month at 8.3 percent, the lowest level since February 2009.
The local market opened yesterday to make up the reduced number of trading sessions for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Financial institutions scored the highest gains, finishing up 4.0 percent, with Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (中信金控) and Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (彰化銀行) up 7 percent, the highest daily maximum increase, at NT$20.85 and NT$18.15 respectively.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 1.1 percent to 124.32, matching a seven-week rally that ended Oct. 15, 2010, the longest since its nine-week win through Dec. 23, 2005.
Asian manufacturers gained this week after reports showed manufacturing in the US grew last month at the fastest pace in seven months, while manufacturing contracted less than initially estimated in the euro region.
LG Electronics jumped 11 percent to 90,700 won in Seoul. Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), the world’s largest maker of notebook computers, advanced 6.2 percent to NT$67.10 in Taipei.
Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s No. 1 carmaker by market value, increased 2.2 percent to ￥2,899 in Tokyo.
In other markets on Friday:
Manila closed 1.32 percent, or 63.51 points, lower from Thursday at 4,758.57.
Wellington ended flat, dipping 2.41 points from Thursday to 3,312.23.