Asia-Pacific stocks surge for third day

October 30th, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Oct 30 (DPA) Markets across the Asia-Pacific Thursday saw the roller-coaster ride they have been taking in recent weeks make an upward surge with key markets jumping more than 10 percent on news of an interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve.Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average ended trading up nearly 10 percent after the US central bank’s rate cut as well as boosted profit prospects for Japan’s exporters as the yen weakened against the dollar.

The Nikkei surged 817.86 points, or 9.96 percent, to end at 9,029.76. The index has climbed 26 percent over the past three days, the biggest three-day upswing since 1970.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues also jumped 69.05 points, or 8.32 percent, at 899.37.

Stocks in Seoul boasted even bigger gains, surging by a record 12 percent as a currency swap with the United States worth $30 billion and a decreased currency account deficit in South Korea in September boosted investor sentiment.

The local currency spiked 16.5 percent against the greenback, buoyed by the swap deal and the bullish stock market.

The benchmark Kospi index jumped 115.75 points, or 12 percent, to close at 1,084.72, its largest-ever one-day gain. The index fell more than 20 percent last week, its biggest loss in two decades.

The main index of the technology-heavy Kosdaq market rose 30.46 points to 296.05.

In Hong Kong, stocks shot up by nearly 13 percent on the back of the Fed’s rate cut. The blue-chip Hang Seng index gained 1,627.78 points, or 12.82 percent, to close the day at 14,329.85 as investors took comfort in the Fed’s move Wednesday to ease the credit crisis by reducing its benchmark interest rate by 0.5 percent to one percent.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced Thursday that it was following the move, cutting its base interest rates by 50 points to 1.5 percent. Hong Kong’s currency is pegged to the US dollar.

Taiwan stocks surged more than six percent after the central bank there cut interest rates by 0.25 percent and on positive signs in Taiwan-China ties.

The benchmark Taiex rose 277.12 points, or 6.29 percent, to close at 4,683.64.

On mainland China, gains were less marked with the Shanghai Composite Index up 2.55 percent to 1.763.61 while the SSE Component Stock Index traded up 1.91 percent at 5,909.4.

Singapore’s Straits Times index shot up 9.83 per cent to 1,835.51 by Thursday afternoon, and Philippine stocks surged 4.73 percent to 1,864.93 after gains in regional markets.

Elsewhere in the region, the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index rose 5.87 percent to 406.69. In Indonesia, the Jakarta Composite index was up 5.73 percent at 1,1177.44.

The Fed’s rate cut also powered Australian stocks to a four-percent gain, the second day of improvement and enough to lift the bellwether index above the psychologically important 4,000 mark.

The ASX 200 put on 155 points to close at 4,001.

“This is the classic example of the market selling into strength,” IG Markets analyst Ben Potter said. “Rallies at the moment are purely seen as an opportunity to sell at higher prices.”

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