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Markets in Asia rise, Thai shares at highest since 1997 crisis

Markets in Asia rise, Thai shares at highest since 1997 crisis
AP
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First Published: Tue, Jul 03 2007. 07 29 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Jul 03 2007. 07 29 PM IST
Hong Kong: Markets across Asia advanced on 3 July, with shares in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and the Philippines rising to new records.
Thailand’s stocks also climbed to their highest in more than a decade — just a day after the 10th anniversary of the Asian financial crisis that erupted in the country on 2 July 1997, with a plunge in the Thai baht.
Boosted by investor optimism about Thailand’s political outlook, the Stock Exchange of Thailand index jumped 20.81 points, or 2.6% , to 813.52, the highest close since January 1997.
Investors are hopeful that elections, scheduled for later this year, will bring stability to the country after the military took control of the government in a coup in September 2006.
“People feel confident that elections will be held late this year, or by the latest early next year, and the military government will not try and cling to power,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Marco Sucharitkul. “It’s recreated a feeling of security, locally, and foreign investors have seen that. Investors have sidelined the political risk.”
In Hong Kong, the blue chip Hang Seng Index rose 378.41 points, or 1.74%, to set a new closing high at 22,151.14.
Analysts said the local market will likely maintain its upward momentum in the near term on the strength of ample liquidity.
China recently relaxed rules on its Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors programme, allowing banks to invest money of domestic investors in overseas stocks.
“Looking ahead, hopes of more investment by China’s QDII program in Hong Kong-listed mainland companies will drive Hong Kong shares higher,” said Y.K. Chan, a fund manager at Phillip Capital Management (HK) Ltd.
Japanese stocks also edged higher for a fourth straight session, with Nikkei 225 index adding 3.60 points, or 0.02%, to 18,149.90 points.
In currencies, the US dollar inched up to 122.35 yen late on 3 July,up from 122.32 yen a day earlier in New York.
Indonesian stocks also hit a new high after having gained more than 3% in the previous three sessions. Philipine shares also jumped to a record close, while Malaysian shares closed 0.64% higher
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First Published: Tue, Jul 03 2007. 07 29 PM IST