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Asian Markets Mixed as US Fears Persist

Asian markets mixed as US fears persist

Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday in the first day of region-wide trade after a long weekend, with bargain hunting weighed by another poor show on Wall Street and global economic fears.

Tokyo gained 0.67 percent, or 62.60 points, to 9,442.95 while Shanghai rose 0.60 percent, or 16.28 points, to 2,744.30 and Sydney was flat, edging down 2.8 points to 4,566.3.

Seoul lost 0.65 percent, or 13.76 points, to 2,099.71 and Hong Kong fell 0.35 percent, or 80.89 points, to 22,868.67.

“International markets remain nervous,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“Last week’s report of much weaker-than-expected jobs growth in the US cemented a view that near-term company earnings growth may not meet previous forecasts.”

Data on Friday from the Labor Department showed the US economy added just 54,000 jobs in May, while figures earlier in the week also revealed poor private-sector job growth. That came on top of weak manufacturing data.

The downbeat news hit the Dow, which sank 0.79 percent Friday and 0.50 percent on Monday.

The Nikkei was supported by TEPCO, which rose on an announcement by chief government spokesman Yukio Edano that it should avoid bankruptcy proceedings to ensure compensation to people affected by its crippled nuclear power plant.

Japan’s biggest power company dived nearly 28 percent on Monday amid fears of a massive loss for the year to March 2012 and of delisting from the stock market.

But the utility, which is reeling from the devastation inflicted on its Fukushima nuclear plant by the March tsunami, closed 4.34 percent higher at 216 yen.

“Edano said the government is trying to avoid court-backed bankruptcy proceedings for TEPCO so the remarks should help to calm the broader market sentiment as well,” Kazuhiro Takahashi, general manager at Daiwa Securities, said.

The Nikkei’s gain snapped three straight losses for the index, in which time it shed more than 3.5 percent.

“Due to the recent declines, there is a growing sense that Japanese shares are cheaply valued,” Yutaka Yoshii, general manager at Mito Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 rebounded from earlier lows to end the day flat after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates on hold at 4.75 percent, citing the summer’s floods and cyclones and European debt woes.

On currency markets the dollar rose against the Japanese currency after slipping in New York to below 80 yen because of US economic concerns.

The greenback firmed to 80.22 yen in Tokyo morning trade from 80.07 yen in New York on Monday. The euro traded at $1.4640, up from $1.4572. The European single currency also gained to 117.50 yen from 116.75 yen.

The RBA decision sent the Australian dollar down to US$1.0694 from $1.0740.

Oil was down. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, lost 54 cents to $98.47 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery dipped 60 cents to $113.88 in the afternoon.

Gold closed in Hong Kong at $1,545.50-$1,546.50 per ounce, up from its Friday close of $1,531.00-$1,532.00. The market was shut on Monday for a public holiday.

In other markets

— Taipei rose 0.12 percent, or 10.82 points, to 9,057.10.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company gained 0.39 percent to Tw$77.5 while Hon Hai fell 0.5 percent to Tw$100.0.

— Manila slipped 0.53 percent, or 22.45 points, to 4,236.45.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone shed 1.7 percent to 2,300 pesos, San Miguel closed down 0.3 percent at 116.10 pesos and Ayala Land was down 2.2 percent at 15.02.

— Wellington closed down 0.26 percent, or 9.15 points, at 3,505.61.

Telecom fell 1.1 percent to NZ$2.30 and Fletcher Building slid 0.5 percent to NZ$8.83 while exporter Fisher & Paykel Healthcare shed 0.3 percent to NZ$2.95.

— Jakarta rose 0.23 percent, or 8.75 points, to 3,842.95.

— Kuala Lumpur ended down 0.02 percent, or 0.25 points, to close at 1,551.89.

Financial firm RHB Capital dipped 1.0 percent to 9.83 ringgit, while energy company Shell Refining lost 1.7 percent to 10.62. Budget carrier AirAsia gained 2.0 percent to 3.05, and financial firm CIMB Group Holdings inched up 0.4 percent to 8.33.

— Singapore closed up 2.22 points, or 0.07 percent, to 3,115.95.

SingTel lost 0.32 percent to Sg$3.13 and CapitaLand rose 0.33 percent to Sg$3.03.

Adapted from Yahoo Finance & AFP

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Symbol Bid Ask Spread
EURUSD 1.17460 1.17480 2
GBPUSD 1.31810 1.31840 3
USDCAD 1.26530 1.26560 3
USDJPY 113.630 113.650 2
USDCHF 0.98550 0.98580 3
AUDUSD 0.77800 0.77830 3
NZDUSD 0.69200 0.69250 5
EURGBP 0.89090 0.89120 3
EURCHF 1.15770 1.15800 3
EURJPY 133.470 133.500 3
AUDJPY 88.410 88.460 5
GBPJPY 149.780 149.840 6
XAUUSD 1279.85 1280.25 40
XAGUSD 17.057 17.107 5