Asian stocks fell for a third week, as Chinese telephone companies plunged after Beijing revealed details of an industry reorganization and concerns over bad loans dragged down Australian banks.
China Unicom Ltd, the smaller of the country’s two cellphone companies, had the biggest percentage decline on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. National Australia Bank Ltd and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd declined in Sydney.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3 percent to 150.37 last week. The index is down 4.7 percent this year on concern over credit-related losses and writedowns approaching US$400 billion will hurt earnings and near-record oil prices will slow economies.
“Conditions are still turbulent, and it’s too early to be optimistic,” said Masayuki Kubota, who helps oversee the equivalent of US$1.7 billion in Japanese stocks at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd in Tokyo. “It seems the shock to global financial markets has yet to come to an end.”
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 1.1 percent, while the broader Topix added 1.3 percent. Most stock benchmarks in Asia fell, with Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Stock Index posting the biggest loss in the region.
Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s state-controlled power producer, surged the most in almost a decade in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, after winning government approval to raise electricity prices starting next month. Its shares jumped 23 percent to 9 ringgit, the sharpest gain on the MSCI Asian gauge.
Taiwanese shares are expected to extend gains next week on hopes of better ties with China ahead of bilateral talks due to be resumed after more than a decade, dealers said on Friday.
Transport and tourism shares and China that have close business relations with China are likely to attract market attention as they could gain most from improved cross strait relationships, they said.
The electronic sector may follow a rebound among US high tech stocks on their high correlation in share prices to push the market higher, they said.
The market is expected to test the crucial 9,000 point level this week, while profit taking may surface during the trade with a technical support seen at around 8,700 points, dealers said.
In the week to Friday, the weighted index closed up 126.27 points or 1.47 percent at 8,745.35, after a 2.44 percent fall a week earlier.
Average daily turnover stood at NT$97.57 billion (US3.21 billion), compared with US$121.14 billion a week earlier.
Talks between Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait will be resumed on Wednesday.
They are expected to become the theme of the market, Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting analyst Young Wang said.
Japanese share prices climbed to the highest level in about five months, boosted by an overnight rally on Wall Street and a weaker yen, which benefits exporters, dealers said.
The benchmark Nikkei-225 index rose 148.32 points or 1.03 percent to 14,489.44, the best finish since Jan. 9. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares added 3.66 points or 0.26 percent to 1,428.11.
Hong Kong share prices closed up 0.61 percent, dealers said.
The Hang Seng Index rose 146.89 points to 24,402.18. Turnover fell to 58.62 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$7.52 billion) from 63.69 billion dollars on Thursday.
Australian shares closed up 1.1 percent, dealers said.
The benchmark SP/ASX 200 index climbed 62 points to 5,592.1 and the broader All Ordinaries added 57.4 points to 5,691.2. Volume was A$5.13 billion (US$4.8 billion).
Chinese stocks closed 0.66 percent lower, dealers said.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B shares, closed down 21.98 points at 3,329.67 on turnover of 42.8 billion yuan (US$6.2 billion).
The Shanghai A-share Index lost 0.66 percent at 3,493.19. The Shenzhen A-share Index shed 0.24 percent at 1,058.42.
Singapore share prices closed little changed, dealers said.
The blue chip Straits Times Index closed 2.84 points higher at 3,146.73 on volume of 1.03 billion shares worth S$1.36 billion (US$1 billion).
Malaysian stocks jumped to close up 2 percent, dealers said.
The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index rose 25.01 points to 1,248.57.
Thai share prices closed 0.93 percent higher, dealers said.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index rose 7.51 points to close at 817.33 while the blue-chip SET 50 index gained 6.09 points to 585.19.
Indonesian shares closed little changed, dealers said.
The Jakarta Composite Index ended up 2.57 points at 2,402.24.
Philippine share prices closed 0.8 percent higher, dealers said.
The composite index gained 21.28 points to 2,739.70. The all-share index rose 0.83 percent to 1,711.17 points.
New Zealand share prices closed 0.22 percent lower, dealers said.
The NZX-50 gross index fell 7.89 points to 3,548.08.
Indian share prices closed down 1.25 percent, dealers said.
The benchmark Mumbai 30-share Sensex fell 197.54 points to 15,572.18.
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