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Friday,October 28,2011

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Asia continues upward drive
Hong Kong notches 3-yr. high
Asia closes higher on earnings
H-K at 3-yr. high
Hong Kong enjoys fresh high for year

Asia extends Europe-inspired gains

Asia markets gained Friday, extending an advance that started a day earlier when Europe announced its latest plan to contain its sovereign-debt crisis.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Index gained another 123.93 points, or 1.4%, to close the week at 9,050.47

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index soared 330.54 points, or 1.7%, to 20,019.20

The moves wound up a strong week for Asian equities, with the Hang Seng Index adding 11.1%, the Nikkei Average rising 4.3%, the Kospi up 5%, the ASX 200 ahead by 5.1%, and the Shanghai Composite adding 6.7%.

Asian, European and U.S. stock markets had all gained sharply Thursday after European leaders put forward a plan that included a 50% writedown on Greek government debt held by private bondholders and a boost to the region’s bailout fund.

Asia banks had climbed sharply Thursday after the European measures were announced, and much of the sector added to those gains on Friday.

Hang Seng Index-heavyweight HSBC Holdings PLC climbed 4.2%, while in Tokyo, Nomura Holdings Inc. advanced 2.3%, and Resona Holdings Inc. added 1.7%.

In Sydney, investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd. jumped 3.3% after it posted a drop in first-half profit but also said it would buy back 10% of its shares.

In Seoul, Samsung Electronics advanced 2.3%. The firm said that its third-quarter net profit fell 23% due to weakness at its display unit, but the results weren’t as weak as analysts had forecast.

Offsetting losses at Samsung were strength in the tech major’s mobile-phone business, which unseated Apple Inc. last quarter as the world’s largest seller of smartphones by unit, according to Strategy Analytics.

Car makers were gaining in Japan along with other exporters, helped by the European plan, as well as U.S. economic data Thursday showing growth accelerated in the third quarter.

Shares of Honda Motor Co. climbed 4.4%, and those of Toyota Motor Corp. improved by 1.9%.

Sony Corp. -- which announced late Thursday that it would buy out the rest of its Sony Ericsson mobile phone joint venture with Sweden’s Ericsson AB -- rose 3.6%, while Nikon Corp. shares climbed 2.6%.

Sharp Corp. gained 6.2%. While the firm posted a first-half loss late Thursday, its quarterly net profit and operating profit both rose.

Hong Kong-listed exporters joined in the advance, with apparel firm Esprit Ltd. climbing 4.3%, and Li & Fung Ltd. up 5.4%, while ports operator Cosco Pacific Ltd. moved 5.8% higher.

In other markets;

Shanghai’s CSI 300 index moved up 51.54 points, or 1.9%, to 2,709.02

Taiwan’s Taiex Index added 50.85 points, or 0.7%, to 7,616.06

Korea’s Kospi Index gained 7.44 points, or 0.4%, to 1,929.48

Singapore’s Straits Times Index picked up 58.15 points, or 2%, to 2,905.72

New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index improved 22.13 points, or 0.7%, to 3,325.60

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index edged up 5.10 points, or 0.1%, to 4,353.30








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