ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index has gained 9.3 per cent from a more-than-two-month low on February 8 as better-than-estimated US jobs data and a pledge of support from French President Nicolas Sarkozy for debt-stricken Greece bolstered confidence in the global recovery.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.5 per cent to 124.76 in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average advanced 1.2 per cent.
A flat day in the USA will see the ASEAN markets come under some selling pressure today, I would expect a slip of .5 to 1% over the day in ASEAN.
Singapore which earlier hit eight-week highs as predicted by Shayne Heffernan of EHIM, afternoon profit taking ended the session 0.18 percent lower. Malaysia pared early gains to finish unchanged, Indonesia lost 0.34 percent after a two-day run to two-year highs, and Thailand SET fell 0.85 percent. Energy shares weakened across the region as oil slid towards $82 a barrel on Thursday.
Shayne Heffernan said domestic political issues would not really limit any strong rebound in coming sessions as Thai protesters vowed to prolong their mass anti-government rally in Bangkok.
Shayne Heffernan noted Foreign investors bought a net 3.23 billion
baht ($100million) of Thai equities on Thursday, adding to their
combined net buying of 32.03 billion baht ($991.6 million) over the past
Philppines rose for a fourth session and held on to gains, adding 0.4 percent.
Vietnam reversed its falls of the past two days, ending up 1.7 percent.
Volume has been very lackluster ahead of key options expirations on Thursday and Friday, when four different types of options and futures contracts expire in a convergence known as “quadruple witching”.
Wall Street barely moved overnight aeven fter a report showed improvement in US Mid-Atlantic business activity and companies posted some strong results.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s index showed factory activity expanded more than expected in March, although new orders fell. Earlier, the government said the Consumer Price Index was flat in February, backing up the Federal Reserve’s commitment to keep its benchmark interest rate ultra low for a while. A separate report showed a dip in new claims for jobless benefits in the latest week.
Dow 10,779.17 +45.50 (0.42%)
Both Nike Inc and GameStop rallied after reporting results. Nike’s stock climbed 5.6 per cent to $US74.87, following the largest global sports gear maker’s report late Wednesday of a third-quarter profit that beat expectations. GameStop shares shot up 7.3 per cent to $US21.30 after the video-game retailer forecast full-year sales growth of 4 per cent to 6 per cent.
“Earnings continue to be good, and along with lack of inflation pressure, there’s nothing preventing the markets from continuing on their uptrend,” said Carl Birkelbach, chairman of Birkelbach Investment Securities in Chicago.
FedEx Corp posted a sharply higher quarterly profit that beat Wall Street’s estimate, but its stock was up just 0.1 per cent at $US89.90 as some analysts said expectations had called for even stronger results.
The Dow Jones industrial average edged up 5.82 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 10,739.49. But the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipped 3.88 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 1162.33. And the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 2.54 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2386.55.
Worries over Greece’s fiscal situation added caution after its prime minister warned his country would not be able to make planned deficit cuts unless it can borrow money cheaply. Finance officials in Greece also strongly denied a report that it was scheduled to turn to the International Monetary Fund as soon as April.
The US-listed shares of The National Bank of Greece fell 7 per cent to $US4.01, while the Bank of New York Mellon index of leading Greek American Depositary Receipts sank 5 per cent.
Within the Philly Fed’s March report, there was a sign of inflationary pressure on the region’s manufacturers with the prices paid index rising in March to the highest level since August 2008. That was in contrast to the flat reading for overall US consumer prices in February, and only a mild increase of 0.1 per cent in the closely watched core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices.
“The data and earnings have been pretty positive overall, but the numbers weren’t so good as to provide a big catalyst after the gains we’ve had,” said Alan Lancz, president of an investment advisory firm that bears his name in Toledo, Ohio.
Stocks gained on Wednesday, marking a seven-day winning streak for the Dow, its longest since an eight-session run in August 2009.
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