Asian shares mixed in cautious trade

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GMT - 3 Hours Asian shares mixed in cautious trade

Post by εﺓз• » ιη∂αġι яσ¢χ « • on Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:31 pm

HONG KONG: Asian shares were mixed in quiet trade on Thursday, with the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan weighing on sentiment in Tokyo, while traders looked to the upcoming earnings season.

A report from the US Federal Reserve confirming the world's biggest economy was on a good recovery track, and President Barack Obama's plan to scythe spending did little to move investors.

Tokyo ended 0.13 percent, or 12.74 points, higher at 9,653.92 and Seoul gained 0.90 percent, or 19.14 points, to 2,141.06, a record high. However, Sydney closed 0.55 percent down, losing 26.8 points, to 4,884.2 and Hong Kong gave up 0.32 percent in the afternoon. Shanghai was flat.

Markets have been volatile this week after Japan suffered several strong aftershocks from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, raising fears over a crippled nuclear power plant.

"The market energy is expected to be weak as investors await Japan's corporate earnings and amid concerns about progress in the nuclear reactor issues and aftershocks," Hiroichi Nishi, a general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities, said.

Tokyo was also weighed by a stronger yen versus the dollar.

The Japanese unit rose to 83.65 against the dollar from 83.79 in New York Wednesday, although it eased to 121.26 to the euro, from 120.98 in New York.

The euro stood at $1.4493 from $1.4440.

The Fed's Beige Book on the state of the economy confirmed it was growing on a broad base around the country, though at an "only moderate" pace in many regions. "Higher commodity costs were widely reported to be putting increasing pressures on prices," the bank said.

At the same time Obama outlined a plan to reduce the US deficit by $4 trillion but said he would wield a "scalpel and not a machete" on health care, the military and some bedrock social programmes.

However, the news made little impact on stocks, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed flat.

Singapore was down 0.27 percent as the city-state tightened its monetary policy after posting strong first quarter growth of 8.5 percent and amid concerns over inflation.

The decision saw the Singapore dollar surge against the greenback, hitting Sg$1.2453 before easing to Sg$1.2510.

Meanwhile commodities giant Glencore said it plans to raise up to $11 billion in a dual public listing in London and Hong Kong. The world's largest commodities trader by revenue expects to sell 2.5-10 percent of the offering to Hong Kong retail investors and will set an indicative price range for the shares around May 4. (AFP)
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