News Column

Asia ahead on IMF forecast

January 22, 2014

Asian stocks rose for a second day as the International Monetary Fund raised its global growth forecast and as the Bank of Japan refrained from adding more stimulus to the world's third largest economy. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 25 points, or 0.2%, to 15,829.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 49.13 points, or 0.2%, to 23,082.25. Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. jumped 5% after returning to profit. TDK Corp. advanced 6.3% after Nomura Holdings Inc. raised its price target on shares of the electronic-component maker. MGM China Holdings Ltd. slumped 6.6%, leading declines among Macau casinos listed in Hong Kong , as JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its rating on the stock. The BOJ said it will keep plans to increase the monetary base annually by 60 trillion to 70 trillion yen and maintained its inflation target for 2015. Australia's consumer prices gained more than economists forecast last quarter, indicating the central bank may be reluctant to reduce interest rates further. The global economy will expand 3.7% this year, compared with an October estimate of 3.6%, the IMF said in revisions to its World Economic Outlook released in Washington . Hite Jinro Co., a South Korean liquor maker, soared 6.7% to 22,300 won , the most on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, after Yonhap News agency reported the company is planning to set up an alliance with global breweries. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV , the world's biggest beer maker, this week agreed to buy Hite Jinro's rival Oriental Brewery Co. CHINA Shanghai's CSI 300 index progressed 56.39 points, or 2.6%, to 2,243.80, as the nation's money-market rates dropped for a second day after the central bank added more than $42 billion U.S. to the financial system and expanded a lending facility to smaller banks to meet Lunar New Year money demand. In other markets; Korea's Kospi index nicked up 6.53 points, or 0.3%, to 1,970.42 Taiwan's Taiex Index regained 25.40 points, or 0.3%, to 8,625.30 The Singapore Straits Times Index docked 0.02 points to 3,133.74 In New Zealand , the NZX 50 added 28.67 points, or 0.6%, to 4,950.34 In Australia , the S&P/ASX 200 doffed 11.70 points, or 0.2%, to 5,319.77

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Source: Baystreet Foreign Markets Wrap (Canada)

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