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Asian markets mostly higher

August 18, 2012

HONG KONG, Aug 17: Asian markets were mostly up and the euro enjoyed strong support on Friday as spirits were lifted by comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel reasserting her desire to save the eurozone.

Tokyo’s Nikkei added to the previous day’s healthy gains, advancing 0.77 per cent, or 69.74 points, to 9,162.20 as the yen eased further against the dollar with dealers confident enough to move out of the safe haven Japanese unit. Sydney climbed 0.92 per cent, or 39.9 points, to 4,370.1 but Seoul eased 0.58 per cent, or 11.37 points, to 1,946.54.

Hong Kong added 0 .77 per cent, to 153.12 points, to 20,116.07 and Shanghai climbed 0.13 per cent, or 2.69 points, to 2,114.89.

On Wall Street the Dow rose 0.65 per cent, the S&P 500 added 0.71 per cent and the Nasdaq climbed 1.04 per cent. But Facebook shares plunged 6.3 per cent to a new low of $19.87 as the lockup period for sales by pre-IPO investors ended. The company’s share price has almost halved since its May 18 initial share offering at $38.

In other markets: Singapore closed flat, dipping 0.78 points to 3,062.11. Oil-rig maker Keppel Corp. was up 0.52 per cent at Sg$11.58 and property developer CapitaLand eased 0.98 per cent to Sg$3.03.

Taipei slipped 0.30 per cent, or 22.29 points, to 7,467.92. TSMC fell 1.21 per cent to Tw$82.0 while Formosa Plastics was 0.96 per cent lower at Tw$82.7.

Manila closed 0.24 per cent lower, shedding 12.70 points to 5,206.81. Metropolitan Bank and Trust fell 1.41 per cent to 91 pesos and Ayala Land lost 0.67 per cent to 22.30 pesos.

Wellington gained 0.65 per cent, or 23.46 points, to end at 3,639.66. Fletcher Building rose 1.2 per cent to NZ$6.55 and Contact Energy gained 0.62 per cent to NZ$4.90 but Telecom slipped 2.5 per cent to NZ$2.69.

Kuala Lumpur was almost unchanged, nudging down 0.30 points to 1,649.79. Axiata Group gained 2.0 per cent to 6 ringgit, YTL Corp was down 2.6 per cent at 1.86 ringgit and Petronas Dagangan lost 2.3 per cent to 22.38 ringgit.

Bangkok was flat, easing 0.49 points to 1,223.91. Power firm EGCO dropped 2.50 per cent to 117.00 baht, while supermarket operator BIG C rose 2.74 per cent to 187.50 baht.

India’s Sensex index rose 0.19 per cent or 33.87 points to 17,691.08. Vehicle maker Tata Motors rose 2.12 per cent to 240.25 rupees, while IT outsourcer Infosys rose 1.61 per cent to 2,351.4 rupees.

Jakarta was closed for a public holiday.—AFP