Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Asian markets higher in holiday-thinned trade

Asian stocks were modestly higher Tuesday in holiday-thinned trade as investors awaited another top level European finance meeting on Greece's debt crisis.

Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia were closed for Lunar New Year holidays. Wall Street was closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

The euro, battered to a nine-month low last week as Greece's problems undermined confidence in the common currency, gained against the dollar. Oil prices hovered above $74 a barrel.

Corporate earnings provided a positive glimmer Tuesday with Westpac, one of Australia's largest banks, reporting that first quarter earnings grew by a third as bad loans dropped and the economy bounced back from the global financial meltdown.

But concerns about the fallout from Greece's debt crunch remain close to the surface.

The 16 nations that use the euro have pledged to help Greece if it can't repay its debts - but want Greece to make big spending cuts first.

On Tuesday, the finance ministers of the full 27-nation European Union meet and Greece is expected to be top of the agenda. Investors fear a Greek default could spark a wider European debt crisis, threatening governments ability to borrow money.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average was up 38.07 points, or 0.4 percent, at 10,051.37 and South Korea's Kospi gained 8.14, or 0.6 percent, to 1,602.78.

Australia's benchmark climbed 0.4 percent and India's Sensex added 0.3 percent. Elsewhere, Indonesia's market was flat and New Zealand's stock index advanced 0.9 percent.

In Europe on Monday, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 25.02, or 0.5 percent, at 5,167.47 while Germany's DAX rose 10.71, or 0.2 percent, at 5,511.10. The CAC-40 in France was 11.27, or 0.3 percent, higher at 3,610.34.

Oil prices hovered above $74 a barrel in Asia as investors looked for signs of improving global crude demand amid light holiday trading.

Benchmark crude for March delivery as up 21 cents at $74.34 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. With markets closed Monday in the U.S., the contract last settled on Friday, falling $1.15 to $74.13.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 89.92 yen from 90 yen. The euro gained to $1.3639 from $1.3597.

The Associated Press , Bangkok | Tue, 02/16/2010 1:01 PM | Business


  1. wao ini yang membuat eropa krisis!

  2. salam bursa, semoga semangat tetap stabil dan naik, tidak terpengaruh dengan pasar di eropa, asia..:)