RTTNews - Gains on Wall Street overnight and improved hopes for higher exports from the region helped Asian stocks mostly advance on Friday, led by consumer and technology-related shares. However, worries about tighter government policies sent Chinese stocks lower for second straight day.
China's Shanghai Composite index fell nearly 3 percent to 2,861 on concerns large initial public offerings and large-scale financing by listed companies could dilute market capital and drag down stocks prices.
A subsidiary of China Metallurgical Group Corp announced it received regulatory approval to raise as much as 16.8 billion yuan in its IPO on the Shanghai stock exchange. China Vanke Co, the nation's largest publicly listed real estate developer also said it plans to raise up to 11.2 billion yuan through private placement.
The Hong Kong market followed with a modest 0.71% fall on fears of slowing China lending.
After a fall in the previous session, the Japanese market closed modestly higher despite the strengthening of the yen and weakness in China. Additionally, traders were reluctant to create fresh long positions ahead of the general elections this weekend.
While the benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended at 10,534, up 60 points or 0.57%, the broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 5 points or 0.53% to 969. Pulp and paper, mining, and securities stocks were the major gainers.
Casio Computer surged up over 8% on reports the company along with Hitachi and NEC Corp are considering integrating their mobile phone businesses. Hitachi and NEC also ended up around 1% each.
Oil explorer Inpex Corp. advanced nearly 2% , shipping stock Mitsui O.S.K. Lines rose 2.6% and Inpex ended up nearly 2%.
On the economic front, the unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 5.7 percent in July, the ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Friday, marking the highest rate on record. That was higher than analyst expectations for a 5.5 percent showing following the 5.4 percent increase in June.
The Australian market showed notable gains and finished at a 10-month high led by financials. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 39 points or 0.87% to 4,490 and the All Ordinaries index rose 0.85% to 4,496.
Financials extended gains on strength among their U.S. peers, while resources managed modest gains despite weakness in Chinese shares. Oil Search led the oil sector higher, followed by Santos and Woodside Petroleum.
QBE Insurance surged up over 4% after recent selling and Harvey Norman jumped 17% on robust annual results, while Nufarm, Woolworths, Leighton and Westfield fell on profit taking after their earnings announcements.
South Korea's benchmark KOSPI rose a modest 0.54% to 1,608, led by auto and technology stocks amid sustained buying by foreign investors. Foreigners bought a net KRW202.1 billion worth of stocks, extending their buying spree into a sixth straight session. Volume was at 435.9 million shares worth 6 trillion won (US$4.8 billion) with 422 gainers versus 363 losers.
Hyundai Motor rose 2.5% on reports it could have posted its highest monthly sales in the United States in August. In the technology sector, LG Electronics jumped nearly 5%, Hynix Semiconductor advanced 2.4% after personal computer maker Dell gave an upbeat sales outlook.
Gains in Fletcher Building on the back of a rebound in home-building consents and the rise of Telecom amid upbeat comments by its chief executive about the government's increasingly rational approach to regulation helped the New Zealand market close on a positive note.
The benchmark NZX 50 Index rose 33 points or 10.17%. Turnover was worth $94.73 million. There were 46 rises and 33 falls among the 115 stocks traded. While Fletcher Building advanced 2.30%, Telecom rallied nearly 3% after a weak close in the previous session.
Auckland International Airport edged up 0.57% despite reporting a 63% plunge in its annual net profit, resin maker Nuplex Industries extended its rise, surging up nearly 6% on the back of a special dividend announcement.
NZ Refining fell over 2% on earnings disappointment, Hallenstein Glasson fell 1.79% and Mainfreight gave off 1.72%.
Elsewhere, late buying in realty, banking and metal stock helped the Indian market show sharp gains. The benchmark BSE Sensex is currently trading at 15,922, up 141 points or 0.89% and the S&P CNX Nifty is trading at 4,729, up 0.88%.
On Wall Street, stocks initially retreated before staging a steady recovery to finish with modest gains on Thursday. A report from the commerce department revealed that second quarter GDP decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the second quarter, unchanged from the 1.0 percent decrease initially reported.
Separately, the number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits edged down last week, according to a report released by the Labor Department, although jobless claims remain at a relatively high level. The Dow advanced 0.39%, the Nasdaq gained 0.16% and the S&P 500 index edged up 0.28%.
After showing a notable decline in early trading on Thursday on signs of faltering crude demand in the U.S., crude oil prices rallied following a downturn in the value of the U.S. dollar. Crude for October delivery ended the session up $1.06 at $72.49 a barrel, after falling to as low as $69.83 earlier in the day. In late Asian trading on Friday, crude oil firmed up to $72.85 a barrel, up 0.5% on hopes the economic recovery is on track in the U.S., the world's largest economy.
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