Asian stocks extend new year optimism

January 07, 2009

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HONG KONG, Jan 6: Asian stocks on Tuesday extended their positive start to the year amid optimism for measures to ease the global economic meltdown after share prices were decimated in 2008, dealers said.

Tokyo rose for a sixth straight session, closing at its highest level for about two months thanks to a weaker yen and hopes of more spending by the US government to tackle a recession in the world's biggest economy.

Sydney rose 1.5 per cent, its first advance of 2009, while Shanghai added three percent, Seoul 1.76 per cent and Taipei 0.62 per cent.

TOKYO: Japanese stocks rose 0.42 per cent.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index gained 37.72 points to 9,080.84, the highest close since November 10. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares gained 0.29 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 876.20.

The market mood is expected to remain positive for a while, Daiwa Institute of Research strategist Kazuhiro Miyake told Dow Jones Newswires.

HONG KONG: Share prices closed 0.4 per cent lower.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index closed down 53.80 points at 15,509.51.

Turnover was 53.92 billion Hong Kong dollars (6.91 billion US).

Index heavyweight HSBC dragged the market lower, falling 0.7 per cent to $76.95 on profit-taking after rising 5.2 per cent over the past two sessions.

Standard Chartered bucked the trend to rise 8.2 per cent to 107.80.

SYDNEY: Australian share prices gained 1.5 per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 55.7 points to 3,742.7 while the broader All Ordinaries picked up 50.3 points to 3,689.2.

Preliminary national turnover was 1.4 billion shares worth 2.5 billion dollars (1.78 billion US).

SINGAPORE: Shares closed down 0.58 per cent.

The main Straits Times Index fell 11.21 points to 1,913.66, with 1.60 billion shares traded worth 1.46 billion Singapore dollars (992 million US).

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares rose 0.2 per cent.

The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index rose 1.57 points to close at 922.23.

Bumiputra-Commerce was up 2.4 percent at 6.50 ringgit, Maybank rose 2.8 to 5.55 ringgit and Genting lost 3.0 percent to 3.84 ringgit.

JAKARTA: Indonesian shares ended 0.1 per cent lower.

The Jakarta Composite Index lost 1.8 points to 1,435.54 in moderate volume ahead of an expected cut in interest rates.

Coal miner Bumi Resources tumbled 9.6 percent to 850 rupiah.

WELLINGTON: New Zealand shares rose 1.40 per cent.

The benchmark NZX-50 index rose 38.49 points to close at 2,783.38 on light turnover worth 45.2 million dollars (26.6 million US).

Shares in discount retailer The Warehouse rose 10 cents to 3.58 dollars.

MUMBAI: Indian shares closed 0.59 per cent higher.

The benchmark 30-share Sensex index rose 60.33 points to 10,335.93 on select buying after the government announced a fresh economic stimulus package last week, dealers said.—AFP