Asian markets rise, dealers digest stimulus plans

Asian markets rose Friday, rebounding from the previous day’s losses, as stimulus moves by the central banks of the United States, Europe and Japan outweighed another round of weak economic data.
Shares looked set for a positive end to a week that saw the Bank of Japan follow the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank (ECB) in unveiling plans to boost growth, but also showed manufacturing in China was still shrinking.
Tokyo rose 0.25 percent, or 23.02 points, to 9,110.00, Seoul advanced 0.60 percent, or 12.04 points, to 2,002.37, and Sydney added 0.25 percent, or 11.1 points, to 4,408.3.
Hong Kong was 0.70 percent higher, adding 144.02 points to end at 20,734.94 and Shanghai added 0.09 percent, or 1.85 points, to 2,206.69.
Buying sentiment has been lifted since the ECB said it would buy unlimited amounts of debt from under-pressure eurozone nations to keep their borrowing costs down, followed a week later by the Fed move to buy huge amounts of US bonds.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) said Wednesday it would extend its own asset-purchasing scheme.
“We are in the aftermath of some pretty big announcements, with moves by the European Central Bank and the (Fed), and investors are still digesting that, while economic data is still on the soft side,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital in Sydney.
While the banks’ moves provided hope to the markets, reality hit home with a string of weak data, including an HSBC survey that found China’s manufacturing activity contracted for an 11th straight month in September.
Wall Street provided an anaemic lead following a batch of numbers including disappointing jobless claims figures.
The Dow rose 0.14 percent, the S&P 500 was flat and the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 0.21 percent.
The euro bought $1.3030 and 101.96 yen in early European trade, compared with $1.2972 and 101.46 yen in New York late Thursday.
It had surged as high as $1.3170 at the start of the week after the Fed easing plan and 103.50 yen on Wednesday.
The dollar was at 78.22 yen against 78.24 yen.
In Tokyo, Japan Airlines, which relisted just days ago after bouncing back from bankruptcy, tumbled 4.29 percent on news it will slash flights to China because of a bitter diplomatic row between the two countries.
On oil markets crude rose, with New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, gaining 73 cents to $93.15 and Brent North Sea crude for November delivery adding 66 cents to $110.69.
Gold was at $1,774.34 at 1040 GMT compared with $1,759.60 on Thursday.
In other markets:
— Singapore climbed 0.51 percent, or 15.62 points, to 3,078.23.
— Taipei rose 0.35 percent, or 27.04 points, to 7,754.59.
AU Optronics gained 5.05 percent to Tw$11.45 while Hon Hai Precision was 0.83 percent higher at Tw$96.8.
— Manila ended flat, dipping 2.91 points to 5,292.06.
Metropolitan Bank and Trust fell 1.09 percent to 91 pesos while Philippine Long Distance Telephone dropped 0.64 percent to 2,810 pesos.
— Wellington eased 0.25 percent, or 9.71 points, to 3,809.57.
Telecom added 0.2 percent to NZ$2.33.
— Jakarta added 0.64 percent, or 27.11 points, to 4,244.62.
Semen Gresik gained 1.06 percent to 14,250 rupiah, Astra International rose 2.07 percent to 7,400 rupiah and Gudang Garam lost 1.36 percent to 47,250 rupiah.
— Kuala Lumpur eased 0.12 percent, or 1.89 points, to 1,623.70.
PPB Group lost 1.3 percent to 12 ringgit while British American Tobacco tumbled 1.6 percent to 61.20 ringgit. AirAsia rose 1.7 percent to close at 2.95 ringgit.
— Bangkok was 0.28 percent, or 3.58 points, higher at 1,286.26.
Coal producer Banpu dropped 8.60 percent to 404.00 baht, while cement maker SCCC lost 2.42 percent to 363.00 baht.
— Mumbai rose 2.2 percent, or 403.58 points, to 18,752.83.
State-run engineering giant Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. rose 2.77 percent to 22.85 rupees and mobile phone firm Reliance Communications jumped 7.82 percent to 62.05 rupees.

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