Sun, Aug 05, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Asian stocks pare weekly gains

VALUE-LESS:About US$700 billion has been wiped from the Asia-Pacific index since its Feb. 29 peak as the eurozone debt crisis has threatened global economic recovery


Asian stocks rose, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index paring the third advance in five weeks after central banks in China, Europe and the US failed to deliver new stimulus needed to bolster growth.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.9 percent to 116.99. The gauge rose as much as 2.4 percent early in the week amid speculation the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank (ECB) would unveil measures to spur economic growth.

Shares declined for three days after the ECB failed to announce immediate measures to address the eurozone debt crisis, the Fed refrained from adding stimulus to the US economy and China’s manufacturing grew at the slowest pace in eight months.

About US$700 billion has been wiped from the value of the Asia-Pacific index since its Feb. 29 peak as Europe’s sovereign debt crisis threatened to upset the global economic recovery. Through yesterday the benchmark had slid more than 10 percent from its high this year.

Shares on the gauge trade at 12 times estimated earnings. That compares with 13.3 for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and 11.1 for the STOXX Europe 600 Index.

Taipei fell 0.69 percent, or 50.45 points, from Thursday to end at 7,217.51.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Index climbed 1.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 2 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.2 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.1 percent, dragged lower by loss-making electronics maker Sharp Corp which tumbled 28 percent on Friday.

Of the 122 companies on the Nikkei 225 that have reported first-quarter earnings, and for which Bloomberg had estimates, 52 percent have fallen short of projections, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. About 80 percent of technology companies have missed estimates, the data show.

Companies that do business in Europe declined after ECB President Mario Draghi signaled the central bank intended to join forces with governments to buy bonds in sufficient quantities to ease Europe’s debt crisis.

Shares also dropped after separate reports showed China’s manufacturing and services industries expanded at a slower pace last month. The government will conduct policy fine-tuning at an appropriate time and consumer inflation could rebound after this month, the People’s Bank of China said in a quarterly monetary-policy report on its Web site on Thursday.

In other markets on Friday:

‧ Manila closed 0.14 percent, or 7.49 points, from Thursday to end lower at 5,285.91.

‧ Wellington fell 0.45 percent, or 16.11 points, from Thursday to 3,548.00.

‧ Mumbai slipped 0.15 percent, or 26.43 points, from Thursday to 17,197.93.

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