HONG KONG Shares rallied in Hong Kong Tuesday morning after a top Federal Reserve official tempered comments from two colleagues on the possibility of a US rate hike this month.
The Hang Seng Index added 1.17 per cent, or 273.53 points, to 23,564.13.
And the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index added 0.10 per cent, or 3.05 points, to 3,025.03 while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, gained 0.54 per cent, or 10.71 points, to 1,987.77.
MALAYSIA share prices opened lower on Friday with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index down 0.260 points to 1,691.120.
Volume was 21.500 million lots worth RM4.936 million.
Gainers outnumbered losers 65 to 57.
SINGAPORE shares opened almost flat on Thursday, with the Straits Times Index down by 1.61 points or 0.06 per cent to 2,892.04 points as at 9.01 am, after US stocks ended little changed on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 11.98 points or 0.06 per cent to 18,526.14, but the Nasdaq Composite added 8.02 points or 0.15 per cent to a record close.
Trade on Wall Street large caps has been light ahead of the Federal Reserve rate hike decision and the US presidential election in November.
Recent economic data including last Friday’s weaker-than-expected jobs report suggest the Federal Reserve could hold off the rate hike for now although expectations are that the tightening may still happen later this year.
Some 46 million shares worth S$69.5 million changed hands, with gainers outnumbering losers 70 to 53.
Australian shares rose on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street, while data at home showing the economy last quarter expanded at its fastest annual pace in four years helped buoy sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was 10.8 points, or 0.2 per cent, higher at 5,424.4 at 0307 GMT.
The benchmark gained as much as 0.5 per cent after the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported gross domestic product (GDP) in April-June rose 3.3 per cent from a year earlier, just short of market forecasts but up from around 2.9 per cent in the previous quarter.
On Tuesday, the benchmark lost 0.3 per cent after the country’s central bank held interest rates at a record low as expected, but provided no clues for future easing.
The US dollar took a tumble and Asian stocks rose to one-year highs on Wednesday after surprisingly weak US services sector activity put paid to already slim chances of an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve as early as this month.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent, extending its chunky gains of 2.7 per cent over the last two days, to claim a level last seen in July last year.
“When people think there’s no immediate rate hike from the Fed, then Asia and emerging markets are the place to go to, as investors seek yields,” said Toru Nishihama, senior economist at Dai-ichi Life Research.
Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.7 per cent, however, as the yen gained sharply versus the US dollar, putting more pressure on exporters in the world’s third-largest economy.
THE following companies made material announcements before the opening of Tuesday’s market:
SMRT Corporation said that a scheme meeting will be convened on Sept 29, 3.30pm, at The Star Theatre, Level 5 – same day and venue as the NRFF EGM. The latter is the EGM of the company in relation to the proposed sale of its operating assets, in connection with the contemplated transition from the current rail financing framework to the new rail financing framework (NRFF).
The meeting – through a shareholders’ vote – will determine if Belford (a 100 per cent owned company of Temasek) will acquire 100 per cent shareholding of SMRT at a scheme price of S$1.68 apiece.
Sim Lian Group (SLG) said that the privatisation offer of the company by Coronation 3G has been declared unconditional.
Hong Kong stocks rose in the first few minutes of trade Friday as investors brushed off a shock dip in US manufacturing activity and looked ahead to the release of jobs data later in the day.
The Hang Seng Index added 0.33 per cent, or 76.02 points, to 23,238.36.
But the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.19 per cent, or 5.82 points, to 3,057.49 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, edged down 0.15 per cent, or 3.05 points, to 2,014.41.