News Column

Asia continues upward drive

July 29, 2014



Asian stocks rose for a third day, ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting starting today.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 88.67 points, or 0.6%, to 15,618.07.

The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong bolted higher by 211.90 points, or 0.9%, to 24,640.53.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in Hong Kong, also known as the H-Share index, entered a bull market yesterday, rising 20% from a March 20 low after policy makers deployed targeted stimulus to meet economic growth targets.

Nissan Motor Co. climbed 1.9% after the carmaker's earnings beat analyst estimates on higher sales in China. Keyence Corp. jumped 3% in Tokyo after the supplier of sensors and measuring instruments reported a 33%increase in first-quarter net income.

QBE Insurance Group Ltd. tumbled 11% after Australia's second-biggest insurer said profit in the six months ended June 30 may fall 18 percent due to higher claims in Argentina.

South Korea's Kospi index jumped to its highest since August 2011, as foreign investors boosted equity holdings by $2.9 billion U.S. this month. The country's current account surplus narrowed to $7.92 billion U.S. in June from a revised $9.08 billion U.S. in May, the Bank of Korea said today.

Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. jumped 3.5%, capping a sixth daily advance to its highest close since May 2011. Deutsche Bank AG raised its share-price forecast for the bourse operator by 41%, while Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch boosted its price target by 23%. Both brokerages kept their buy ratings.

Cash Financial Services Group Ltd. soared 33% after parent Celestial Asia Securities Holdings Ltd said it's in talks with a third party interested in buying a majority stake in its stocks and futures broking unit.

China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd., the biggest mainland homebuilder traded in Hong Kong, rose 2%. Country Garden Holdings Co. gained 2.9%.

CHINA

The Shanghai CSI 300 index took on 7.47 points, or 0.3%, to 2,331.37

Chinese developers advanced after the Shanghai Securities News reported that banks in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou may shorten their mortgage-approval process to one month from three months. Easing home-purchase limits will boost sales in the second half, UBS AG said.

In other markets;

In Singapore, the Straits Times STI returned from holiday to gain 5.91 points, or 0.2%, to 3,356.08

In Korea, the Kospi index picked up 13.16 points, or 0.6%, to 2,061.97

The Taiex Index in Taiwan fell 28.30 points, or 0.3%, to 9,391.88

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 21.59 points, or 0.4%, to 5,165.56

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 regained 11.05 points, or 0.2%, to 5,588.44


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Source: Baystreet Foreign Markets Wrap (Canada)


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