Nov 27, 2012

Hong Kong - Asian markets mostly up after Greece deal

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HONG KONG: Asian shares mostly rose on Tuesday after a multi-billion euro loan deal for Greece, but Shanghai closed near a four-year low over growing pessimism about the state of the world's second biggest economy.

Tokyo closed up 0.37 percent, or 34.36 points, at 9,423.30, Seoul rose 0.87 percent, or 16.69 points, to 1,925.20 while Sydney ended 0.74 percent, or 32.6 points, higher at 4,456.8.

Hong Kong ended flat, slipping 17.78 points to 21,844.03, while Shanghai fell 1.30 percent, or 26.29 points, to 1,991.17 - the lowest close for the index since January 23, 2009.

The International Monetary Fund and eurozone early Tuesday agreed to unlock 43.7 billion euros ($56 billion) in loans to debt-laden Greece after talks in Brussels.

The country's public creditors agreed to take measures to bring down the country's debt-to-GDP ratio from an estimated 144 percent to 124 percent within eight years in exchange for loans.

Eurozone finance ministers, the IMF and the European Central Bank agreed the money would be paid in four instalments from December 13 until the end of March.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said the agreement represented a fresh start for his beleaguered country.

"Everything has gone well," Samaras told local media in Athens. "All Greeks have fought (for this decision) and tomorrow is a new day for every Greek person."

Europe's main stock markets rose at the start of trading on Tuesday with London's benchmark FTSE 100 index up 0.37 percent and Frankfurt's DAX 30 advancing 0.70 percent.

But Shanghai stocks fell, with analysts saying the decline was caused by increasing concerns about the domestic economy and the absence of fresh government moves to support growth.

China remains a driver of the global economy and key to Western nations' hopes of recovery but has been hit by a slowing of its once-spectacular growth.

Ahead of the Greek announcement, US markets were feeble in the first session after a slow Thanksgiving holiday week, with the jury still out over how strong the crucial Black Friday holiday sales were for retailers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 42.31 points (0.33 percent) at 12,967.37.

The broad-market S&P 500 lost 2.86 (0.20 percent) to 1,406.29, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 9.93 (0.33 percent) to 2,976.78.

On currency markets the euro was stronger in Asian trade as investors breathed a sigh of relief over the Greece agreement.

The 17-nation currency bought $1.2973 and 106.65 yen in Tokyo trade after earlier briefly topping $1.30 for the first time in about a month.

That was up from $1.2971 and 106.38 yen in New York trade late Monday, although the euro eased slightly after the Greece announcement with investors taking profits and the focus turning towards a budgetary impasse in Washington.

The dollar gained to 82.20 yen from 81.98 yen.

On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery, bounced 23 cents to $87.97 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude, also for January, rose three cents to $110.95.

Gold was at $1,746.42 at 1120 GMT compared with $1,734.47 late Monday.

In other markets:

Taipei rose 0.31 percent, or 22.83 points, to 7,430.20.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co gained 1.05 percent to Tw$96.3 while leading smartphone maker HTC was 1.00 percent lower at Tw$248.5.

Wellington was flat, falling 2.42 points, at 4,009.61.

Telecom Corp was down 0.85 percent at NZ$2.33 and Fletcher Building rose 0.13 percent to NZ$7.98.

Manila was up 0.13 percent, or 7.03 points, to close at a record high of 5,586.45.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone rose 1.59 percent to 2,550 pesos and Manila Electric Co. edged up 0.08 percent to 255.20 pesos.

Singapore closed 0.25 percent, or 7.41 points, higher at 3,011.91.

Farm commodities supplier Olam tumbled 6.0 percent to S$1.56.

Jakarta ended down 37.66 points, or 0.86 percent, at 4,337.51.

Retailer Ramayana Lestari dropped 4.86 percent to 1,370 rupiah while cigarette maker Gudang Garam fell 0.76 percent to 52,100 rupiah.

Kuala Lumpur fell 0.60 percent, or 9.71 points, to 1,598.17.

CIMB Group Holdings lost 1.1 percent to 7.50 ringgit, while shed 0.7 percent to 4.55.

Bangkok gained 0.48 percent, or 6.18 points, to 1,297.03.

- Telecoms company Advanced Info Service added 3.05 percent to 203.00 baht, while coal producer Banpu edged up 1.02 percent to 398.00 baht.

Mumbai closed up 1.65 percent, or 305.07 points, at 18,842.08 rupees.

- AFP/de

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