Asian markets go bullish on US and Chinese stimulus plans

December 8th, 2008 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaTokyo, Dec 8 (DPA) Asian stock markets surged Monday on renewed optimism related to large-scale economic stimulus plans by the US and China.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average closed up 411.54 points, or 5.2 percent, to 8,329.05, the biggest gain in almost two weeks, carrying over Friday’s positive sentiment on Wall Street.

Investors speculated that US demand was to rebound soon, after president-elect Barack Obama pledged the biggest public works programme in more than 50 years.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues rose 26.06 points, or 3.32 percent, to 812.08.

In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng index surged 8.66 percent to its highest level in seven weeks.

Turnover topped 63.87 billion Hong Kong dollars ($8.19 billion), following Friday’s turnover of 37.3 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Analysts said market sentiment was driven by investor optimism that China would announce further measures to boost domestic consumption and that a US plan to bailout car giants would succeed.

China announced a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) infrastructure spending package on Nov 9 that was intended to increase domestic demand.

US president-elect Barack Obama signalled plans last weekend for the largest investment in public works since the development of the interstate highway system in the 1960s and 1970s.

Mainland China’s stockmarkets surged 3.57 percent.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was up 72.11 points, or 3.57 percent, to 2,090.77. The smaller Shenzhen index gained 249.48 points, or 3.43 percent, to 7,528.63.

Taiwan’s stocks went up 4.57 percent, bolstered by Wall Street’s strong rally Friday, dealers said.

The main Taiex index opened with a bang, tracking strong gains in Wall Street, as semiconductor and financial shares rose sharply. The upward trend continued all the way to the end of trading, with the local index soaring 193.26 points, or 4.57 percent, to close at 4,418.33.

Shares also rallied on the Seoul stock exchange. The benchmark Kospi index soared 76.92 points, or 7.5 percent, to close at 1,105.05.

The main index of the technology-heavy Kosdaq market rose 14.55 points to 316.71.

In Thailand, shares jumped 4.5 percent in value on a combination of good news on both the international and domestic fronts.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) index ended at 410.58, up 17.71 points, or 4.17 percent.

“Investors came back to the market because of two bits of good news,” said Mongkol Phuangphaetha, an analyst at Atkinson Securities.

“From overseas there was the news that the US was going ahead with a special budget for its ailing auto industry and domestically there was the news that of the Democrats were poised to set up a new government,” he added.

Friday’s surge on Wall Street helped Australian stocks to a 4-percent gain.

Buyers beat sellers in a market that analysts say is oversold, with the benchmark ASX 200 putting on 141 points, or 4 percent, to 3,631.

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