Asian markets mostly up on upbeat earnings
HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose Thursday following upbeat earnings results in the region and the United States, while eurozone fears eased slightly on hopes over the funding of future bailouts.
The first gain for the Dow in four sessions also provided some support but the euro gave up some of the rare recent gains it had made in New York currency trade.
Tokyo closed 0.92 per cent, or 77.20 points, higher at 8,443.10, Seoul was up 0.74 per cent, or 13.16 points, at 1,782.47, and Sydney gained 0.58 per cent, or 23.8 points, to 4,147.7.
Hong Kong was up 0.10 per cent in afternoon trade but Shanghai eased 0.40 per cent higher.
Regional investors followed the lead from the Dow and most European markets after Spanish borrowing costs fell slightly after hitting record highs on the back of fears Madrid will ask for a bailout.
The yield on Madrid’s 10-year bonds eased to a still-high 7.376 per cent after soaring to as much as 7.621 per cent at one point.
Dealers were given some comfort after Austrian central bank chief Ewald Nowotny, a member of the European Central Bank governing council, said the soon-to-be launched European Stability Mechanism rescue fund might be granted a banking licence.
That would allow the fund to exchange bonds for ECB cash, bolstering its capacity without governments having to contribute additional funds.
Traders have been growing increasingly concerned that a possible rescue for Spain could cost hundreds of billions of dollars, which leaves very little in the pot to help other troubled economies.
“Giving the ESM a banking licence would allow it to expand its firepower,”CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy in Australia told Dow
“The sell-off this week was related to the failure of the eurozone to make any improvement in the structural process of directly aiding Spanish banks.”But there was still plenty of gloom in Europe. In Germany a survey showed business confidence dropped for the third month in a row in July while Britain said its economy shrank a worse than expected 0.7 per cent in April-June deepening the country’s double-dip recession.
On Japan’s Nikkei, videogame maker Nintendo posted healthy gains of 3.19 per cent after saying later Wednesday that its first-quarter losses were much lower than at the same time last year.
And industrial robotics firm Fanuc surged 5.32 per cent after saying earnings for the April-June period were better than expected.
The earnings figures were followed by strong results on Wall Street from construction giant Caterpillar and airplane maker Boeing, which helped the Dow advance 0.47 per cent on Wednesday.
On currency markets the euro bought $1.2145 and 94.98 yen in afternoon Asian trade, compared with $1.2153 and 95.04 yen late Wednesday in New York, where it had made big gains from the previous session. The dollar was at 78.18 yen from 78.19 yen.
Oil prices were down. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, dipped 35 cents to $88.62 a barrel in the afternoon while Brent North Sea crude for September delivery fell 39 cents to $103.99.
Gold was at $1,606.10 at 0640 GMT from $1,592.40 late Wednesday.
In other markets:
– Taipei was down 0.12 per cent, or 8.44 points, at 6,970.69.
Hon Hai Precision lost 1.71 per cent to Tw$80.5 and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co rose 2.28 per cent to Tw$76.3.
– Wellington rose 0.77 per cent, or 26.77 points, to 3,485.74.
Fletcher Building was up 2.3 per cent at NZ$5.90, Air New Zealand gained 0.6 per cent to close at NZ$0.90 and Telecom Corp lifted 0.2 per cent to NZ$2.57.