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ASEAN STOCK WATCH Asean Affairs   22  December  2010

ASEAN Markets to Hit New Highs

Shayne Heffernan

ASEAN is Set to Rally after Financial companies led Wall Street higher on Tuesday after another big banking deal raised hopes that more acquisitions could be on the way.

Toronto-Dominion Bank is buying Chrysler Financial, the automaker's old lending arm, from Cerberus Capital Management LP for $US6.3 billion ($A6.35 billion).

It was the latest example of a relatively healthy Canadian bank buying a US lender battered by the financial crisis.

Corporate mergers have picked up strongly this year. That, along with signs of an improving economy and a tax cut package passed last week, have helped drive stocks up. The Standard & Poor's 500 index has jumped 6.2 per cent this month and is up 12.3 per cent this year.

Research firm Dealogic reported Tuesday that the total amount of corporate deals has jumped 18 per cent to $US2.7 trillion ($A2.72 trillion) so far this year compared with all of 2009. A gauge of raw material producers posted the biggest advance among the 10 industry groups in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. All the gauges increased today.

BHP Billiton, also Australia’s biggest oil and gas producer, gained 0.9 per cent to $45.25. Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third-biggest mining company, climbed 0.8 per cent to $86.15. OZ Minerals, a gold and copper producer, rose 0.9 per cent to $1.705.

Crude oil for January delivery increased 79 cents to settle at $US88.81 a barrel in New York yesterday on speculation US economic growth will accelerate next year, bolstering demand in the world’s biggest oil-consuming country.

The London Metal Exchange Index of six metals including copper and aluminium climbed 1.1 per cent yesterday, rising for second day The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.7 per cent to 134.33, with more than three stocks increasing for each that fell.

The gauge climbed to a two-and-a-half year intraday high on December 14 as US economic reports boosted confidence in a global recovery, easing concerns that Europe’s debt crisis and China’s measures to slow inflation will hurt growth.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0.7 per cent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3 per cent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.8 per cent and New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index increased 0.6 per cent.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.2 per cent today. The index climbed 0.3 per cent yesterday in New York as Barclays Plc raised its share-price estimate on and energy shares rallied. The index is near its closing level on September 12, 2008, the last trading day before the bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers.

Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis President James Bullard said provision of stimulus is “reviewable and changeable” depending on economic growth, which may be stronger next year than some economists forecast. Bullard said in an interview with CNBC yesterday that while Europe’s fiscal crisis is “very serious” and may continue for “quite a while,” recent US economic data “bodes well” for 2011.

SK Energy, South Korea’s largest oil processor, surged 5.6 per cent to 188,500 won, the third-biggest advance on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index today. The company said operations had returned to normal at its refinery following an explosion yesterday that killed one person.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 11 per cent this year through yesterday, compared with gains of 12 per cent by the S&P 500 and 9.6 per cent by the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Stocks in the Asian benchmark were valued at 14.7 times estimated earnings on average at yesterday’s close, versus 14.6 times for the S&P 500 and 12.3 times for the Stoxx 600.

Plus Expressways, Malaysia’s biggest toll-road operator, jumped 5.5 per cent to 4.6 ringgit, heading for a record close, after Jelas Ulung made a 26 billion-ringgit ($US8.3 billion) takeover offer, topping a rival bid. Jelas offered 5.20 ringgit a share, higher than the 4.60 ringgit a share by jointly offered by state-controlled UEM Group and the Employees Provident Fund.

In Seoul, Hyundai Engineering climbed 4.9 per cent to 73,500 won after some of its shareholders voted to end talks with preferred bidder Hyundai Group, allowing the company to start discussions with rival bidder Hyundai Motor Group.

The Philippine market finished Tuesday's session up by 0.36 percent.

The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index gained 14.80 points to 4,091.86, while the broader all-share index rose by 0.34 percent or 9.77 points to 2,905.86.

Trading volume reached 1.39 billion shares worth 4.45 billion pesos (100.7 million U.S. dollars). Advancers led decliners 79 to 61 while 33 stocks did not move.

SEOUL -- Seoul shares closed higher Tuesday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) soared 16.81 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 2,037.09, scoring a new yearly high.

Trading volume was moderate at 363.2 million shares, worth 7.2 trillion won (6.2 billion U.S. dollars).

WELLINGTON -- The New Zealand sharemarket built on early gains in a pre-holiday session featuring little in the way of corporate news.

The sharemarket closed 0.6 percent higher with the benchmark NZX-50 index up 19.14 points at 3319.1, and a turnover of 77.7 million NZ dollars (57.94 million U.S. dollars).

  HANOI -- Vietnam's stock market index, VN-Index, closed at 481. 78 points on Tuesday, up 3.49 points, or 0.73 percent, against the previous trading day.

A total of 68.33 million shares worth 1.7 trillion Vietnamese dong (VND) (86.75 million U.S. dollars) changed hands at the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange.

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's share prices rose on Tuesday with the weighted index up 59.07 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 8,827. 79.

The local bourse opened at the day's high of 8,802.86 and reached as low as 8,772.59 during the day's trading. Turnover totaled 99.36 billion new Taiwan dollars (about 3.33 billion U.S. dollars).

SHANGHAI -- China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index on the Shanghai Stock Exchange closed at 2,904.12 Tuesday, up 51.20 points, or 1.79 percent, from the previous close.

Turnover was 136.5 billion yuan (20.4 billion U.S. dollars).

SHENZHEN -- The Shenzhen Component Index on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange closed higher Tuesday to end at 12,872.45 points, up 314. 90 points, or 2.51 percent.

Turnover was 123.17 billion yuan (18.4 billion U.S. dollars).

TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks closed sharply higher Tuesday with the key Nikkei index up 1.51 percent.

Trading volume on the main section contracted to 1,609.73 million shares from 1,709.06 million Monday.

HONG KONG -- Hong Kong stocks closed up 354.78 points, or 1.57 percent, at 22,993.86 on Tuesday.

Turnover shrank to 59.95 billion HK dollars from Monday's 60.33 billion HK dollars. (1 U.S. dollar is equivalent to 7.777 HK dollars).

SYDNEY -- The Australian share market was boosted by mining stocks on Tuesday after a rise in commodity prices to 27-month highs overnight, which also buoyed offshore markets.

Market turnover was 2.33 billion shares worth 4.19 billion AU dollars (4.17 billion U.S. dollars), with 601 stocks up, 521 down and 406 unchanged.

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Malaysia stock market ended higher here on Tuesday.

The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) was at 1,505.18, up 9. 30 points or 0.62 percent, and the Emas was at 10,300.47 up 77.98 points or 0.76 percent.

The turnover increased to 1.36 billion shares valued at 1.87 billion ringgit Malaysia (597.44 million U.S. dollars).

JAKARTA -- Indonesian shares were closed higher on Tuesday following buying action on blue chips by investors who took advantage from cheaper price due to declining share price on Monday.

The market index was closed 68.63 points (1.92 percent) to 3, 637.4 with transaction volume of 6.11 billion shares valued at 4. 21 trillion rupiah (about 465.5 million U.S. dollars).

DHAKA -- Bangladesh's main bourse -- Dhaka Stock Exchange All Shares Price Index (DSI), the benchmark index, closed at 6,777.44 points on Tuesday, up 171.94 points or 2.60 percent from Monday's finish.

The total single day turnover surged to about 16.83 billion taka (about 240.47 million U.S. dollars) on Tuesday.

BANGKOK -- The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index on Tuesday moved up 6.68 points or 0.66 percent to close at 1,013. 19 points.

Some 3.50 billion shares worth 20.76 billion baht (about 690 million U.S. dollars) changed hands.

SINGAPORE -- The shares prices in Singapore rose 6.89 points or 0.22 percent on Tuesday with the benchmark Straits Times Index ( STI) closing at 3,132.96 points.

The overall volume stood at 802 million shares worth 835 million Singapore dollars (about 637 million U.S. dollars).


Shayne Heffernan brings more than 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over US$500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of US$15billion. He has managed and overseen start-ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.


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