Asian shares edge back but Tokyo lifted by TEPCO

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GMT - 3 Hours Asian shares edge back but Tokyo lifted by TEPCO

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:24 pm

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HONG KONG: Asian stock markets were mostly lower on Wednesday despite a gain on Wall Street and positive US data but Tokyo remained buoyant thanks to bullishness on Tokyo Electric Power.

Analysts said Tuesday's optimism -- after figures suggested the Chinese economy is not heading for a hard landing, as feared -- was not enough to support buying as dealers remained wary.

Hong Kong was 0.14 percent lower in the morning, Shanghai fell 0.26 percent, Sydney slipped 0.16 percent and Seoul was 0.22 percent off.

But Tokyo gained 0.14 percent by the break.

The US on Tuesday released better-than-expected data on retail sales and wholesale inflation, which showed that the US economic recovery was weak, but still on track, analysts said.

US retail sales fell 0.2 percent from April to May, a less steep drop than the consensus estimate of 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile wholesale inflation came in at 0.2 percent, outpacing analysts' estimates of 0.1 percent.

The data sent Wall Street higher. The Dow, which has suffered heavy losses over the past six weeks, jumped 1.03 percent, while the S&P 500 rose 1.26 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq surged 1.48 percent.

The Nikkei got a boost as TEPCO, which operates the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant battered by the March 11 quake-tsunami, jumped almost 30 percent.

Dealers are rushing back to TEPCO after the government put forward a bill to support the utility in making compensation payments to the thousands of people affected by the worst atomic accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

TEPCO shares recently hit all-time lows amid a lack of clarity over the level of government support for it and worries it would be delisted from the stock exchange. However, "shares are reacting bullishly as fears of delisting are dissipating," Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities, told.

The euro eased against the dollar in Asia amid a eurozone row over a second bailout for debt-laden Greece, analysts said.

The single European unit eased to $1.4424 in Tokyo morning trade from $1.4440 late Tuesday in New York where it had staged a modest rise after recent losses. The euro fell to 116.03 yen in Tokyo from 116.24.

The dollar fetched 80.46 yen, unchanged from New York.

On the oil markets, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, lost 25 cents to $99.12 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for July rose 49 cents to $120.65 on its last trading day.

Gold opened at $1,525.20-$1,526.20 an ounce in Hong Kong, down from Tuesday's close of $1,519.00-$1,520.00. (AFP)
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