Asia-Pacific stocks soar on investors’ confidence

March 25th, 2008 - 8:20 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sensex
Hong Kong, March 25 (DPA) Asia-Pacific stocks jumped Tuesday as investor confidence in financial shares rose on an improved purchase offer for the US investment bank Bear Stearns. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index surged 6.43 percent and Australia’s ASX200 index rose 3.7 percent after both markets reopened after a four-day break for Easter.

JPMorgan Chase and Co quadrupled its offer for Bear Stearns to $10 a share, prompting an overnight rally on Wall Street, which then spread to the Asia-Pacific.

An increase in US home sales also buoyed stocks as the US tries to shake off a mortgage crisis and a resulting credit crunch and recession fears.

Stocks in Tokyo were also helped by a weaker yen, which makes Japanese exporters’ goods cheaper abroad.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 2.1 percent to close at 12,745.22 while the broader Topix index of all first-section issues was also up 1.54 percent at 1,242.98.

Exporters were the big gainers in Tokyo, but financial services firms benefited the most on other markets, including Hong Kong and Australia.

The Hang Seng saw its biggest daily leap in a month as it closed at 22,464.52 while the ASX200 finished at 5,318.4.

ANZ Bank’s Katie Dean warned, however, that it was too soon to rule out further turmoil.

“I think it would be a very brave investor that decided to call this as the bottom of the market,” Dean said. “Certainly markets are on a knife edge and it really is a day-to-day proposition at the moment.”

India’s benchmark 30-stock Sensex on the Bombay Stock Exchange ended trading at 16,217, up by 928 points or 6.07 percent.

The broader 50-stock S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange in New Delhi closed trading at 4,877, up by 268 points or 5.8 percent.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index climbed 2.73 percent to 2,007.62. Taiwan’s Taiex was an exception as it fell 0.79 percent to 8,795.09, failing to sustain the 4-percent rise it saw Monday, which was prompted by Ma Ying-jeou’s presidential election victory and his pledge to open trade with China.

Mainland China saw more modest gains Tuesday compared with the rest of the region with the CSI 300 Index up 1.26 percent, the Shanghai Composite Index up 0.09 percent and the Shenzhen Composite Index up 1.35 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 1.19 per cent, the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index 1.82 percent, the Jakarta Composite Index 3.43 percent and the Kuala Lumpur Index 2.41 percent.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Index joined the Taiex in falling, down 4.69 percent.

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