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.

Loading...

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.

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile
    Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago believes granting Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile house arrest, while former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains under hospital detention, will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “That’s already a violation of the equal protection of the law,” she said. …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • 8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study
    8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study

    Eight of 10 world cities most exposed to natural hazards are in the Philippines and more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to earthquakes, storms and other disasters are in four Asian nations, according to a research. The study, published on Wednesday by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, analyzed the threat posed by storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes and landslides in more than 1,300 cities. The study found that the 10 cities most at risk are Port Vila in …

  • Ex-crew recognizes photos of sunken Japanese battleship
    Ex-crew recognizes photos of sunken Japanese battleship

    TOKYO (AP) — A former crewmember on a Japanese battleship that sank during World War II said Thursday he recognized photos of wreckage discovered this week off the Philippines by a team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options