Asian stocks mostly rise, weak yen lifts Tokyo

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GMT - 3 Hours Asian stocks mostly rise, weak yen lifts Tokyo

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:11 pm

HONG KONG: Asian stocks were mixed on Friday with Tokyo suffering a late sell-off as traders grew nervous over the nation's utility companies and the state of the economy.

Regional markets had started on a high after a rally on Wall Street provided a lift to investor sentiment despite a batch of downbeat data from the United States.

The Nikkei index closed 0.14 percent, or 13.74 points, lower at 9.607.08 after spending much of the day in positive territory on the back of a weaker yen. Elsewhere, Sydney gave up 0.51 percent, or 24.2 points, to end at 4,732.2 while Shanghai ended flat, edging down 1.12 points to 2,858.46. Hong Kong was 0.16 percent, or 36.01 points, higher at 23,199.39 and Seoul added 0.72 percent, or 15.99 points, to 2,111.50.

Traders went into sell-off mode on concerns over utilities and the economy after data Thursday showed Japan had sunk into a technical recession because of the effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

News that the Bank of Japan had kept interest rates on hold at zero to 0.1 percent had little impact on the Nikkei.

The Dow rose 0.36 percent, the broader S&P 500 gained 0.22 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 0.30 percent. The gains came despite US figures showing existing-home sales fell in April, while there was a sharp drop in the Fed's Philadelphia regional manufacturing index.

The dollar rose to 81.78 yen in Tokyo trade from 81.60 yen in New York late Thursday and the euro gained to 117.02 yen from 116.82. The euro bought $1.4307, virtually unchanged from $1.4308 in New York, but much higher than the $1.4265 in Asia on Thursday.

The single currency has risen on expectations the European Central Bank will hike interest rates soon, although lingering concerns over Greece's debt troubles capped any strong advances.

Oil rebounded in afternoon trade, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, advancing 30 cents to $99.23 a barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for July gained 14 cents to $111.56 in the afternoon.

Gold closed at $1,503.00-$1,504.00 per ounce, up from its Thursday close of $1,494.00-$1,495.00. (AFP)
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