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Asian markets cautious ahead of US jobs data

Asian markets cautious ahead of US jobs data
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First Published: Fri, Sep 04 2009. 08 48 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Sep 04 2009. 08 48 PM IST
Hong Kong: Asian stocks rose on Friday, led by a nearly 3% surge in Hong Kong after China lifted the limit for stock investments by foreign funds in a show of support for the market.
In the US, stocks gained for a second day, trimming a weekly decline for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, after the government reported a smaller-than-forecast decrease in jobs last month.
Hopes that a long-awaited revival in US consumer spending has begun also lent some support to Asian share markets, but gold prices remained near $1,000 (Rs48,900) an ounce after an overnight rally that indicated that investors may be becoming more risk averse amid a still uncertain global economic environment.
“There is a bit of de-risking ahead of the payrolls data and the long weekend in the States, people are pretty happy to take some money off the table and just wait and see what the weekend brings,” said Daniel Manley, a dealer at Burrell and Co.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank president Richard Fisher, in remarks published during Asian trade, said the US economy was set for a long period of slow growth and that it was too early to guess the timing or pace of any rise in US interest rates.
“We are likely to see a prolonged period of sluggish economic performance and uncomfortably high unemployment as businesses reallocate capital and labour to fit the new economic landscape,” Fisher said.
China stocks rose 0.6% ahead of Beijing’s funds announcement, rising for the fourth straight day with bank stocks mixed after regulators softened draft rules on banks’ capital base that had previously hit the sector.
Beijing announced new draft rules on inbound portfolio investments, increasing the amount individual institutions can invest in the country’s stock markets to $1 billion from $800 million.
The changes in the draft rules will make it possible for large investors to channel more portfolio investments into China’s capital markets and come after a 23% slide in Shanghai shares in August amid growing concerns about a drop in Chinese bank lending.
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First Published: Fri, Sep 04 2009. 08 48 PM IST