Asia Stock Markets Gain

Asia markets advance as government measures lift confidence; Hang Seng up 5.3 percent

HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian stock markets rose robustly Monday, with Hong Kong's benchmark advancing more than 5 percent, as investors appeared encouraged by government efforts to help the global economy weather the financial crisis.

Across the region, markets seemed to shrug of more dispiriting economic data and focus on fresh stimulus plans.

The Korea Composite Stock Price added 2.5 percent after the government unveiled nearly $11 billion in new measures to protect South Korea from sliding into recession.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 3.5 percent despite troubling evidence of slowing manufacturing and retails sales, as traders anticipated further interest rate cuts from the country's central bank on Tuesday.

Shanghai's benchmark also gained even though a new report suggested Chinese manufacturing, the engine behind the country's phenomenal growth, may be contracting.

Hong Kong's blue-chip Hang Seng Index led the region's benchmarks, climbing 691.31, or nearly 5 percent, to 14,659.98. Singapore's key index also rose about 5 percent.

"I don't think it's a massive change in direction, more a case of a little more confidence going forward in massively oversold stocks and ... global organized attempts to deal with the issues," said Miles Remington, head of Asian sales trading at BNP Paribas Securities in Hong Kong.

Japanese financial markets were closed Monday for a public holiday and due to reopen Tuesday.

The rise in Asian markets also lifted oil prices, which advanced 99 cents to $68.80 a barrel in Asian trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Global stock markets could take direction from the U.S. this week after the country's presidential election on Tuesday helps fill in some blanks about how Washington might shape economic policy in the months ahead.

Investors will also keep an eye on U.S. reports due on manufacturing, the service sector and employment in the world's largest economy, major Asian export market.

October was a brutal month for Asian markets, but ended on a more upbeat note. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed about 23 percent during the month amid worries that the global financial crisis would erode corporate profits as investors dumped shares to meet redemptions back home. The benchmark dropped as low as 11,015.84 last Monday -- its worst close since May 2004 -- but has sinced bounced back.

Wall Street ended the month with the Dow Jones industrial average adding 144.32, or 1.57 percent, to close Friday at 9,325.01. Stock index futures were up just under 1 percent.

The dollar gained 99.28 yen from 98.44 late Friday in New York, up sharply from the 13-year low of 90.89 yen touched Oct. 24. The euro was higher at $1.2849 from $1.2751.

Article Source:


Designed by Posicionamiento Web | Bloggerized by GosuBlogger | Blue Business Blogger