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Asian shares rise, banks shrug off China policy moves

Asian shares rise, banks shrug off China policy moves
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First Published: Wed, Feb 17 2010. 09 12 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Feb 17 2010. 09 12 PM IST
Tokyo: Asian shares leapt to a three-week high on Wednesday, powered by financial and resource shares after investors bought commodities on a weaker dollar, while Hong Kong shares shrugged off China’s move to temper lending.
The euro inched up against the dollar and the yen as traders covered short positions in the European currency as the flow of news about Greece’s fiscal problems stalled.
Japan’s Nikkei average surged 2.7%, chalking up its biggest daily rise in over two months, as investors snapped up Mitsubishi Corp. and other resource-related stocks after a jump in commodity prices.
Despite the size of Nikkei’s jump, trading volume was near the lowest so far this year.
“Today’s rise is probably mostly due to short-covering by short-term players, judging from the trading activity,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a strategist at Okasan Securities’ investment strategy department.
The MSCI index of Asian shares outside Japan rose about 1.7%, touching its highest level in three weeks.
Resource shares gained after copper led a rally across the broader base metals complex on Tuesday as the dollar stumbled and as equities markets recovered from a sell-off in recent weeks.
Top miners Rio Tinto Ltd gained 3% and BHP Billiton Ltd rose 2%.
Hong Kong shares rose 1.3% to a two-week closing high, lifted by oil and mining stocks as a rally on Wall Street offset Beijing’s decision to raise bank reserve requirements for the second time this year.
US stocks gained as much as 1.8% overnight as traders returned from a three-day break, helped by strong New York State factory data and gains in Europe, where shares were buoyed by upbeat results from UK bank Barclays Plc.
Seoul shares rose for a second straight session, gaining 1.7%, with the stronger won fuelling foreign buying into technology and banking issues.
Shares in India and Singapore closed up more than 1%.
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First Published: Wed, Feb 17 2010. 09 12 PM IST
More Topics: Markets | Hang Seng | MSCI | Japan | China |