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||Asean Affairs 29 January 2013
ASEAN Market Preview
The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI dropped 12.98 points, or 0.09 percent, to 13,883.00. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX dropped 2.71 points, or 0.18 percent, to 1,500.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC gained 4.59 points, or 0.15 percent, to 3,154.30.
The Commerce Department said on Monday that non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for investment plans, edged up 0.2 percent last month.
Many economists expected businesses to invest more timidly late last year because of uncertainty over government spending cuts and tax increases, which had been scheduled to kick in this month. Congress ultimately struck a last-minute deal to avoid or postpone most of the austerity measures.
Despite the uncertainty, Monday's data pointed to growing economic momentum as companies sensed improved consumer demand.
"It certainly seems to us that companies are slowly but surely expanding," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer at Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
In a further sign of business confidence, the November reading on capital spending plans was revised higher to show a 3 percent gain, up from the 2.6 percent rise reported a month ago.
A second report showed a measure of upcoming home resales took a breather in December, declining 4.3 percent. Still, the housing sector posted a rebound last year and economists expect it will add to growth again in 2013.
"It is the basic policy of the People's Bank of China to let the renminbi compete with US dollar or euro fairly in the international market," Yi said in an interview on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum Saturday.
In the past, it was not allowed to use the renminbi in cross-border trade transactions and investments. "What we are doing now is nothing but remove discrimination against the renminbi and let it act just as other reserve currencies," he said.
On concerns about the potential rise of the Chinese currency, Yi said, "It is just natural that foreigners might have some concerns, but it is not our policy to specifically promote the renminbi, and I hope people of other countries can treat it with calm."
"Whether the pace of the internationalization is a little bit quicker or slower, it is always and completely the choice of the market," he added.
"I would be actually pleased to see people have more confidence in the renminbi and choose it over other currencies thanks to a more sophisticated market, better implementation of China's monetary policy, China's macroeconomic stability and social stability, and stronger rule of law," he said.
Tokyo surged above the 11,000 mark for the first time since April 2010 in the morning as the yen extended its recent downward trend but profit-taking soon took hold and the index ended down 0.94 percent, or 102.34 points, at 10,824.31.
Seoul dipped 0.36 percent, or 6.98 points, to 1,939.71, while Hong Kong added 0.39 percent, or 91.45 points, to end at 23,671.88.
Shanghai surged 2.41 percent, or 55.21 points, to 2,346.51 after authorities said they would expand the number of securities for margin trading, boosting liquidity hopes.
– Taipei added 0.55 percent, or 42.09 points, to 7,714.67.
Leading integrated circuits design house MediaTek gained 0.93 percent at Tw$325.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. was 0.30 percent higher at Tw$99.3.
– Manila closed 0.40 percent higher, adding 24.78 points to 6,192.42.
Energy Development Corp. gained 2.43 percent to 7.15 pesos while Manila Electric Co. rose 3.37 percent to 294.20 pesos but Ayala Corp. fell 0.27 percent to 550 pesos.
– Wellington rose 0.11 percent, or 4.62 points, to 4,204.44.
Fletcher Building gained 0.11 percent to NZ$9.21, Trade Me added 0.24 percent to NZ$4.15 and Telecom put on 0.21 percent to NZ$2.39.
– Singapore gained 0.14 percent, or 4.60 points, to 3,273.91.
United Overseas Bank slid 0.32 percent to Sg$18.80 and Jardine Cycle and Carriage shed 0.80 percent to Sg$51.83.
– Jakarta lost 0.47 percent, or 20.66 points, to 4,416.94.
Tin miner Timah slipped 2.44 percent to 1,600 rupiah, while food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur rose 0.83 percent to 6,050 rupiah.
– Bangkok rose 0.73 percent, or 10.64 points, to close at 1,472.05.
Communications giant True Corp. leapt 9.32 percent to 6.45 baht while Bangkok Bank climbed 4.95 percent to 212 baht.
– Mumbai ended flat, edging down 0.18 points to 20,103.35.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp. fell 1.76 percent to 335 rupees while Reliance Industries fell 1.56 percent to 897.65 rupees.
Shayne Heffernan Ph.D.
Economist/Hedge Fund Manager
Live Trading News
Heffernan Capital Management
Chinese Society of Economists
American Economic Society
Linda Johnson, Business Development Director - Private Client Group, Heffernan Capital Management
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