Asian stocks rose, paring a second weekly decline on the benchmark index, as fewer Americans filed for jobless claims, the yen held at a six-year low against the US dollar and Scotland voted to reject independence.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) advanced 0.3 percent to 144.45 as of 4:11pm in Hong Kong. The measure was heading for a 1 percent decline this week after the weakest growth in Chinese industrial output since 2008 added to evidence the world’s second-biggest economy was losing momentum.
“The market can grind higher into the middle of next year,” Mark Lister, Wellington-based head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners Ltd, said by telephone. “With central banks still being pretty supportive, with economic growth ticking over and with earnings growth from most regions still looking decent, you can really see there aren’t any better alternatives to equities. We’re staying overweight equities.”
US jobless claims fell by 36,000 to 280,000 in the period ended Sept. 13, the US Labor Department said yesterday. The median forecast of 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decline to 305,000. Those already collecting unemployment benefits fell to a more than seven-year low.
Shares in Taiwan closed little changed on Friday, as investors decided to lock in earlier gains when the index moved closer to 9,300 points, the nearest level of technical resistance, dealers said.
While many large cap high-tech stocks barely budged because of low turnover, select “Apple concept stocks” such as smartphone camera lens supplier Largan Precision Co (大立光) and metal casing maker Catcher Technology Co (可成) outperformed the broader market on optimism over iPhone 6 sales, they said.
The TAIEX ended up 3.42 points, or 0.04 percent higher from Thursday, at 9,240.45, after fluctuating between 9,235.44 and 9,289.22. It increased 0.2 percent from 9,223.18 on Friday last week.
“I expect the low trading volume in the local bourse to continue amid caution toward equity markets in China after Beijing reported disappointing economic data recently. So narrow range trading will dominate the local market over the next few sessions,” Hua Nan Securities (華南永昌證券) analyst Stan Chang said.
Japan’s TOPIX gained 1.1 percent as the yen slid 0.4 percent to 109.12 per US dollar on Friday, falling for a third day. That is the first time since September 2008 that it has traded at 109 per US dollar.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.6 percent with gaming shares Sands China Ltd (金沙中國) and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (銀河娛樂集團) rising the most. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in the territory fell 0.2 percent.
South Korea’s KOSPI and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index both rose 0.3 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times gained 0.3 percent, New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index advanced 0.5 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.6 percent and India S&P BSE Sensex Index added 0.1 percent. Philippine markets were closed owing to a huge storm battering the capital.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status, but even there the hallowed silver screen might be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears. “Whenever things get better and theaters begin operations, I will watch three movies a day for sure just as a way to celebrate,” said the Mumbai rickshaw driver, who is recovering from the virus himself. However, others might not join the party. With cinemas shut for months due to a COVID-19 lockdown, and little prospect they will reopen soon, frustrated Bollywood producers have turned to