Apr 15, 2008

International Markets - Asian Markets move on firm note

07 Apr 2008 | 14:56

Asian Markets move on firm note

Asian markets broadly advanced as resource stocks such as Australia's BHP Billiton, Hong Kong's Zijin Mining Group Co. and Japan's Inpex Holdings rallied on higher commodity prices.


Japan's Nikkei 225 Average rose 1.18% to 13,450.23, after dropping as low as 13,228.86 earlier in the day. The broader Topix index also came off the day's lows and advanced 1.29% to 1,305.63. On the economic front, Japan's index of leading economic indicators, which is used to gauge the future direction of the economy, came in at 50.0 in February, better than 36.4 in January. The coincident index, which measures the current state of the economy, stood at 44.4, as expected. The data is accompanied by the detail on the forex reserve, which rose to a record $1.02 trillion at the end of March from $1.01 trillion in February, supported by a stronger euro.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 1.29% to 24,578.76 and the Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 2.15% to 13,419.88, as trading resumed after an extended holiday weekend.

China's Shanghai Composite jumped 4.45% to 3,599.62. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1% to 5,625, after dropping as low as 5,605.40 earlier in the session. The trade deficit for Australia widened to A$3.29 billion in February from a deficit of A$2.56 billion in January mainly due to fall in commodity exports. Meanwhile the number of houses and apartments in Australia approved for construction increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent on month in February,

Elsewhere, New Zealand's NZX 50 index gained 0.36% to 3,644.48, South Korea's Kospi gained 0.4% to 1,773.56, Singapore's Straits Times Index advanced 0.42% to 3,168.9 and Taiwan's weighted index advanced 1.55% to 8,729.79.

In the afternoon trading, India's Sensex was up by 3.04% to 15,809.39, while the broader S&P CNX Nifty index gained 2.92% to 4,782.90.

Crude oil for May delivery rose as much as 25 cents to $106.48 a barrel in electronic trading, after rising $2.40 to $106.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Friday. June gold futures rose as much as $4.40 to $917.60 an ounce in electronic trading after settling up $3.60 at $913.20 on the Nymex Friday.

In Asian currency trading, the U.S. dollar bought 101.84-yen Monday, compared with 102.26 yen late on Friday.

The European markets opened moved higher on as investors continued to look past worrisome employment data out of the U.S., paced by gains in the mining sector after Goldman Sachs turned more positive on metal stocks, as well as strong performances from Swiss-headquartered Nestle and UBS.

Of national indexes, the U.K. FTSE 100 index rose 0.5% to 5,975.60, the German DAX 30 index increased 0.5% to 6,798.85 and the French CAC-40 index rose 0.6% to 4,928.50.

Looking at the data release calendar the day is schedule to release industrial production from Germany followed by building permit from Canada.