Asia shares up, but Standard Chartered falls again

Asian markets mostly climbed on Wednesday, with hopes rising for a new round of stimulus from the US and European central banks, but profit-taking reversed earlier gains in Hong Kong.

Standard Chartered's Hong Kong-listed shares fell for a second day following huge losses in London on Tuesday, after the bank was accused by US regulators of hiding sanction-busting multi-billion-dollar trades with Iran.

Tokyo closed up 0.88, or 77.85 points, at 8,881.16, Seoul put on 0.87 percent, or 16.43 points, to end at 1,903.23, while Sydney added 0.49 percent, or 21.0 points, to close at 4,312.6.

Shanghai climbed 0.16 percent, or 3.37 points, to 2,160.99, but Hong Kong was flat, dipping 7.03 points at 20,065.52 as traders looked ahead to the release on Thursday of key Chinese data including inflation and industrial production.

Hopes for US action were lifted on Tuesday following a Dow Jones Newswires report that the president of the Boston Fed said the US central bank should launch an aggressive open-ended bond-buying programme to boost the economy until unemployment begins falling again.

The news boosted Wall Street where the three main indices rose for a third straight day. The Dow finished 0.39 percent higher, while the tech-rich Nasdaq gained 0.87 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.51 percent.

Expectations have risen over the past week that the European Central Bank will restart its purchases of sovereign debt to help struggling nations such as Spain and Italy, which have seen their borrowing costs surge to dangerous levels.

"Hopes for more ECB easing in particular are realistic; something clearly must be done to help strapped borrowers like Spain and Italy, even though Germany is resistant," said Tachibana Securities market analyst Kenichi Hirano.

On currency markets in early European trade, the euro eased to $1.2357 and 96.77 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, compared with $1.2401 and 97.37 yen in New York late Tuesday.

The dollar changed hands at 78.31 yen against 78.59 yen in New York.

In Hong Kong Standard Chartered closed 0.50 percent lower, after slumping almost 15 percent on Tuesday following claims by US regulators that it regularly hid forex deals with Iran totalling $250 billion that potentially opened the US banking system to terrorists and criminals.

The Department of Financial Services (DFS) branded it a "rogue institution" and threatened it with fines and the suspension of its licence, which would close it off from the crucial US financial market.

London-based Standard Chartered said it "strongly rejects... the portrayal of facts as set out" by the DFS, which refer to sanctions imposed by Washington on Iran over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

The denial did little to appease investors in London Tuesday, where it is also listed, with its price diving 16.76 percent, having been down by one quarter at one point. However, in early London trade on Wednesday the bank surged eight percent on dip-buying.

Also in Hong Kong flag-carrier Cathay Pacific ended 4.33 percent lower after reporting that it had slumped to a $121 million loss in the first six months of 2012, from a $360 million profit in the same period last year, on falling demand and high fuel costs.

Oil fell in the late afternoon, with New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for September delivery, down 47 cents to $93.20 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September off 58 cents at $111.42.

Gold was at $1,607.80 at 1045 GMT, from $1,614.90 on Tuesday.

In other markets:

-- Wellington closed flat, edging down 0.08 percent, or 3.02 points, to 3,581.79.

Telecom fell 2.6 percent to NZ$2.66 but Oceana Gold was the largest mover, rising 7.9 percent to NZ$2.86.

-- Manila closed 0.46 percent higher, adding 24.51 points to 5,308.67.

Ayala Land rose 5.07 percent to 23.85 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone gained 1.03 percent to 2,758 pesos.

-- Taipei rose 0.33 percent, or 24.34 points, to 7,319.80.

Asustek Computer was up 3.79 percent at Tw$274.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 1.11 percent lower at Tw$80.5.

-- Singapore fell 0.50 percent, or 15.49 points, to end at 3,052.25.

DBS Group fell 0.54 percent to Sg$14.75 while Sembcorp Industries gained 2.83 percent to Sg$5.46.

-- Indonesia rose 0.13 percent, or 5.13 points, to 4,090.71.

Thermal coal miner Bumi Resources gained 3.6 percent to 1,140 rupiah, consumer goods company Unilever rose 2.5 percent to 24,600 rupiah, while Gas Negara fell 2.0 percent to 3,650 rupiah.

-- Bangkok added 0.49 percent, or 5.94 points, to 1,214.13.

Coal miner Banpu rose 4.59 percent to 456.00 baht, while oil firm PTT rose 1.50 percent to 338.00 baht.

-- Kuala Lumpur gained 0.29 percent, or 4.8 points, to close at 1,635.92.

Petronas Dagangan was up 1.4 percent to 22.06 ringgit while CIMB Group Holdings rose 0.3 percent to 7.85 ringgit. MMC Corp lost 0.9 percent to end at 2.32 ringgit.

-- Mumbai ended flat, edging down 0.01 percent, or 1.22 points, to 17,600.56.

India's top mobile phone firm Bharti Airtel slid 6.6 percent to 274.4 rupees.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • Why online business attracts SMEs?
    Why online business attracts SMEs?

    E-commerce is slowly changing the landscape of the country’s small and medium enterprises, especially in the delivery private and public transport sector. One particular area is how these firms can quickly gather or replace their fleet of vehicles with the help of online shopping made easier by online vehicle ads platform such as Carmudi Philippines—one […] The post Why online business attracts SMEs? appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Mixed; Thai index slips ahead of economic data

    BANGKOK, May 22 (Reuters) - Most Southeast Asian stock markets were flat to weaker on Friday, with the Malaysia index hitting a more than two-month low and Philippines touching an over one-week low on ... …

  • China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"
    China says U.S. actions in S.China Sea "irresponsible, dangerous"

    By Sui-Lee Wee BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Friday it was "strongly dissatisfied" after a U.S. military plane flew over part of the South China Sea near where China is building artificial islands, and called on the United States to stop such action or risk causing an accident. The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which had a team on board …

  • 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena
    2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena

    The smell of burnt rubber and screeching tires are some of the highlights that will be seen at the most adrenaline-pumped drifting event of the year—the 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift Championship series.   Held at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan, the event will be the biggest venue in the drifting competition. This is the […] The post 2015 Hyundai Lateral Drift goes to Philippine Arena appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • The Richest Senators In The Philippines
    The Richest Senators In The Philippines

    The 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth for politicians and public servants are now available for anyone to … The post The Richest Senators In The Philippines appeared first on …

  • PHILIPPINES PRESS-AirAsia Philippines seeks $500 mln valuation for IPO - Inquirer

    The Philippine unit of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Berhad is seeking a valuation of at least $500 million for its initial public offering set within the next two years, the Philippine Daily Inquirer ... …

  • Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot
    Consultant, facing joblessness, claims P5.9-M lotto pot

    A 39-year-old information technology consultant, whose job contract will expire this month, has claimed his share of the 6/45 Mega Lotto’s P17.8-million jackpot in its May 13 draw, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) announced yesterday. “I could not sleep for the past several days, thinking about where I could get the money to pay my children’s tuition,” the winner told PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II when he received a check for P5.9 million at the PCSO’s central …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options