Asian stocks rise on Citigroup bailout, Wall Street gains (Lead)

November 25th, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Nov 25 (DPA) Asian stock markets rebounded Tuesday after gains on Wall Street spurred by the US government’s bailout plan to save the banking giant Citigroup Inc.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average surged more than five percent on Wall Street’s overnight rally and a weaker yen, which increases exporters’ overseas earnings.

The Nikkei index soared 413.14 points, or 5.22 percent, to close at 8,323.93.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues was also up 3.6 percent at 831.58.

Investors bought a wide range of issues after a three-day weekend in Tokyo as market sentiment was cheered by Wall Street’s rises after the US government announced the rescue plan for Citigroup with guarantees against massive losses on the bank’s $306 billion in mortgage-related assets.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was trading 3.82 percent higher at 12,933.78 as Australia’s ASX 200 Index rose 5.7 percent to close at 3,623 as increases were across the board with big miners particularly benefiting after a rise in commodity prices.

Taiwan’s Taiex rose 2.55 percent to close at 4,266.49 with analysts pointing to the Citigroup bailout and US president-elect Barack Obama’s announcement of his economic team, which is to begin work with him in January.

“Obama’s economic team is mulling a stimulus package to tackle the recession and the decision to rescue the ailing Citigroup caused the US stocks to rally Monday,” said Chiu Hsin-lin, executive vice president of the Industries Bank of Taiwan Securities. “As Asian stocks are closely linked to US stocks, all major Asian stocks surged today.”

On other markets in the region, South Korea’s Kospi was up 1.36 percent, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was up 2.67 percent and India’s markets also opened with gains - the Sensex up 1.89 percent and the Nifty rising 2.2 percent.

Stocks in mainland China fell, however, on a day when the IMF lowered its economic forecast for the country from 9.2 percent to 7.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.63 percent and the Shenzhen Composite Index was down 1.89 per cent.

The New Zealand stock market rallied after falling for more than a week with analysts saying investors did some bargain hunting, apparently buoyed by the Citigroup rescue.

The benchmark NZX-50 index closed up 2.31 percent at 2634.88.

Philippine share prices soared 6.02 percent as the 30-share composite index of the Philippine Stock Exchange closed at 1,908.18.

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