Tokyo: Most Asian markets rose on 9 August, cheered in part by Wall Street’s overnight rise on solid results in the technology arena and renewed demand for risky debt.
China’s benchmark index added 2.0% to close at its fifth straight record close, while stocks in Japan, South Korea and elsewhere also posted gains. Hong Kong share prices edged down, while Thailand’s benchmark index shed 2.4%.
In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 141.32 points, or 0.83%, to finish at 17,170.60 points on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Japanese stocks got a boost from Wall Street overnight, where the Dow Jones industrial average rose 153.56, or 1.14%, to 13,657.86. Strong earnings figures and the yen’s weakness against the dollar also provided a lift.
“Broader worries about the subprime markets are being soothed and decent earnings are helping restore market confidence,” said Motomi Hiratsuka, head of sales trading at BNP Paribas.
Exporters also got a boost from the dollar’s renewed strength against the yen, which inflates exporters’ overseas income and makes their products more competitive abroad. Sony Corp. rose 0.84%, Toshiba Corp. added 2.27%, and Canon Inc. posted a 1.09% gain.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s blue chip Hang Seeing Index edged down on profit taking following the index’s biggest one-day gain in more than six years. Renewed worries over the US sub-prime problem also dragged the market lower.
The index fell 97.31 points, or 0.4%, to 22,439.36.
In the morning session, the HSI rose as much as 260.06 points, or 1.2%, to 22,796.73. But it lost its steam toward the end of the session, led by declines in some index heavyweights and in Chinese financial stocks.
Adding to woes in the afternoon session was French bank BNP Paribas, which said one of its units has suspended net asset valuations of three of its funds because of lack of liquidity in some securitization markets in the US. It attributed the suspension to problems in the US subprime sector.