Asian shares rise after week of selling

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GMT - 3 Hours Asian shares rise after week of selling

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:55 pm

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HONG KONG: Asian markets were mostly higher on Friday as dealers bought back cheap stocks after a week of heavy selling, although dealers remained cautious amid fears of a debt default by the United States.

The dollar was pressured after another agency warned of a downgrade for Washington's credit rating, although it was supported by comments from the Fed chief that the bank was not ready for a new round of monetary easing.

Tokyo gained 0.20 percent by the break, Sydney added 0.40 percent, Shanghai rose 0.14 percent and Seoul was 0.41 percent higher.

Hong Kong was flat in the morning.

Global markets slumped this week as fears of a default in European economies were compounded by growing concern that politicians in Washington are unable to hammer out a budget that will allow a rise in the debt ceiling.

Economists and finance and business leaders have warned that failure to raise the ceiling above the current $14.3 trillion would send shockwaves through the world economy as it struggles out from the financial crisis.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated warnings that a default would damage the US economy, telling the Senate Banking Committee it would be a disastrous "self-inflicted wound."

Adding to the troubles was Moody's decision on Wednesday to put the US's gold-standard triple-A debt rating on credit watch with the possibility of a downgrade. That was followed on Thursday by a similar move by another agency, Standard & Poor's.

Christopher Gore, currency analyst at Go Markets, told.

"The lack of closure to the US debt ceiling (problem) continues to weigh on market sentiment.

"US politicians are seemingly playing a game of chicken with the debt ceiling for the purpose of political gain while the ratings agencies stand at the ready to clip the US debt rating."

The greenback was holding up in early Asian trade after Bernanke told Congress that the Fed was not ready for a new round of quantitative easing, which has the effect of reducing the dollar's value by increasing the money supply.

On Wednesday, he had indicated that further easing was possible if economic weakness persisted, fuelling a stock market rally as investors hoped for a new round of stimulus from the Fed.

The dollar was trading at 79.03 yen in Tokyo, slightly down from 79.13 yen late Thursday in New York. However, it is up from the high-78 range in Asia earlier Thursday.

The euro firmed to $1.4176 from $1.4141. The European single currency inched up to 112.09 yen from 111.87 yen.

In Sydney mining giant BHP Billiton was 1.5 percent lower after it announced it was buying US firm Petrohawk Energy in a deal with a total value of $15.1 billion.

And Rupert Murdoch's News Corp fell 2.3 percent after the FBI began a probe over potential phone hacking in the United States following a scandal in Britain that saw the closure of Sunday tabloid the News of the World.

New York's main oil contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in August, gained 30 cents to $95.99 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for September delivery rose 17 cents to $116.43 on its first trading day.

Gold opened at $1,585.00-$1,586.00 in Hong Kong, up from Thursday's close of $1,582.50-$1,583.50. The precious metal, a safe-haven in times of economic uncertainty, surged to a record $1,594.45 per ounce in New York Thursday. (AFP)
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