Asian Markets Rise Strongly
HONG KONG (AP) _ Most Asian markets rose strongly today, buoyed by bargain hunting and Wall Street’s firm finish last week. Hong Kong’s exchange gained nearly 6 percent.
The rebound came on the back of widespread gains Friday, and bolstered hopes that a global market sell-off has bottomed out.
However, institutional investors remained on the sidelines, worried about the ability of Asian governments to defend their currencies and tackle pressing economic problems.
The Hong Kong stock market, which triggered the global market panic when it began plunging two weeks ago amid a speculative attack on its currency, gained 631.33 points or 5.94 percent to end the day at 11,255.11.
China-backed shares and blue-chip conglomerate stocks were the biggest gainers.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange and other financial markets in Japan were closed for a national holiday.
After a slow start, South Korea’s market gained 2.9 percent. Dealers said foreign investors resumed buying, taking advantage of the newly raised ceiling on how much stock they can own in a listed company. The limit became 26 percent on Monday, up from 23 percent.
Elsewhere in the region, the overriding sentiment seemed to be relief that the worst is over. Especially heartening was the New York Stock Exchange’s performance Friday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60.41 points to 7442.08.
``Long-term investors cannot afford to ignore this region, despite all the concerns that have been raised and the volatility,″ said Tan Keng Hock, director of Schroder Investment Management (Singapore).
He said the region’s growth rate is still higher than the average in the most advanced economies.
BANGKOK _ The Stock Exchange of Thailand index closed 0.23 point higher at 447.44.
JAKARTA _ The stock exchange’s Composite Index rose 1.296 points, closing at 501.714, reflecting approval of the government’s weekend moves to reform the economy.
KUALA LUMPUR _ The benchmark Composite Index rose 7.8 percent. Meanwhile, the ringgit was quoted at 3.2900 to the dollar, up from 3.4200 ringgit Friday.
MANILA _ The benchmark index of of 30 selected issues closed 0.4 percent higher following Friday’s 0.3 percent advance.
SINGAPORE _ Shares closed sharply higher, with the benchmark Straits Times Industrial Index ending 7.4 percent higher.
SYDNEY _ The All Ordinaries index ended the day at 2,503.8, up 1.6 percent, from Friday’s close of 2,464.8.
TAIPEI _ The main index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange rose for the second day, climbing 4.5 percent to 7,646.35.
WELLINGTON _ The NZSE-40 capital index ended the day at 2,390.20, up 34.37 points from Friday’s close.