Hong Kong: Asian shares rose on Monday after eurozone countries unveiled a massive package to support debt-laden Greece.
Investors were given the ideal start to the week after finance ministers from the 16 countries that share the European currency agreed a three-year €30-billion plan to provide financial aid.
Asian dealers welcomed the move, with Tokyo 0.98% higher, while Hong Kong added 0.11% and Sydney gained 0.62%, pushing it above 5,000 points for the first time in more than a year.
“One factor limiting gains in the Tokyo market is gone. Investors are chasing the market higher,” Masumi Yamamoto, market analyst at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets in Tokyo told Dow Jones Newswires.
In Hong Kong Russian metals giant UC Rusal said it swung back into the black in 2009 following a debt restructuring, reporting a net profit of $821 million. It reported a net loss of $5.98 billion in 2008.
Shares in Rusal, the first Russian company to list in the southern Chinese city, traded as high as 9.75 Hong Kong dollars on Monday after closing on Friday at 9.40 dollars.
Shanghai rose 0.16% in early trade, led by major banks on expectations for strong first-quarter results, dealers said.
Singapore was up 0.18%.
Global shares have been on an upward trend since last month.
Wall Street ended at an 18-month high as dealers awaited the start of company earnings season. It had broken the 11,000 barrier -- for the first time since 29 September 2008 -- just before the closing bell.
In Bangkok shares were 3.7% lower in early trade following deadly clashes in the Thai capital Saturday as supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra call for the government to step down.
The euro rose to $1.3642 in Tokyo morning trade from 1.3497 in New York late Friday and was up to 126.99 yen from 125.51.
The decision to announce the lifeline, which will see Greece repaying the loans at 5% interest, was aimed at soothing markets that have dragged the euro and forced up Athens’ bond yields to 12-year high.
“The euro is firmer as traders took heart from the Sunday announcement of the aid package for Greece,” said Daisuke Karakama, forex analyst at Mizuho Corporate Bank.
The IMF’s role in the package will be discussed on Monday and will include what measures the troubled country would be required to take in order to get the cash.
Oil was higher, with New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, advancing 41 cents to $85.33 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for May delivery rose 63 cents to $85.46.
Gold opened higher at $1,165.50-1,166.50 an ounce in Hong Kong, up from Friday’s close of $1,155.00-1,156.00.