Asian markets pick up
Tue, Jun 08, 2010

HONG KONG - Asian markets staged a slight rebound on Tuesday as dealers picked up bargains from the previous session's heavy losses, while Japanese exporters benefited from a weaker yen.

Traders ignored a second successive slump on Wall Street, where worse-than-expected jobs data on Friday continued to depress sentiment amid fears over recovery in the world's biggest economy.

Tokyo's Nikkei rose 0.18 percent, or 17.14 points, to 9,537.94 and Sydney added 1.28 percent, or 55.3 points, to 4,381.2.

Hong Kong added 0.56 percent, or 109.33 points, to close at 19,487.48.

However, the markets were nowhere near making up for Monday's slumps, which saw key indexes hit lows not seen for several months after the United States said that 431,000 non-farm jobs were created in May.

The figure was well below the 500,000 analysts had forecast, souring sentiment.

Friday's news sent the Dow plummeting 3.15 percent and lingering worries saw the index lose a further 1.16 percent on Monday.

The euro picked up on Tuesday, giving some respite to Japan's exporters, but remained subdued as concerns over European debt continued.

The single currency changed hands at 1.1959 dollars in Tokyo morning trade, up from 1.1919 in New York on Monday. Against the yen, it fetched 109.58 against 109.00 in New York.

On Monday, the European single currency had briefly plunged to 1.1876 dollars, its lowest level for more than four years.

The dollar gained ground against the Japanese currency, to 91.65 yen from 91.37 in New York.

"The market appears to have regained stability after a bout of sales of the euro ended," said Yosuke Hosokawa, head of the forex group at Chuo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"But no one can deny another bout of sales anytime in the near future," Hosokawa said. "Players are likely to continue keeping away from risky trades.Trading will remain sensitive for the time being."

The euro was rattled on Monday following comments by Hungarian officials that Budapest could be in the same boat as Greece, raising the spectre that already struggling European banks could be hurt by any exposure there.

The International Monetary Fund has urged European leaders to take decisive action to overhaul rules governing the eurozone and called for Brussels to be given more say over national budgets.

The IMF's call came as finance ministers of all 27 European Union nations meeting in Luxembourg on Monday put the finishing touches to a 440-billion-euro fund for emergency loans to debt-laden states.

Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Spain have all taken steps to rein in their budgets as well as Germany, which on Monday announced 86 billion euros in cuts by 2014.

Shanghai added 2.22 points to 2,513.95.

Taipei ended down 5.84 points at 7,151.99, pulled by electronics giant Hon Hai Precision, the parent of IT firm Foxconn, which makes products for Apple and other global brands.

Hon Hai tumbled 5.11 percent to 111.5 Taiwan dollars after Foxconn said Monday it would hike salaries at its plants in south China by nearly 70 percent following a series of suicides there.

It tumbled 5.62 percent Monday. The two days of losses have slashed about 100 billion Taiwan dollars (3 billion US) off the company's capitalisation.

Foxconn shares in Hong Kong were 3.2 percent down after tumbling 5.5 percent Monday prior to a trading halt for the wage announcement.

Oil edged up in Asian trade. New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, rose nine cents to 71.53 dollars a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for July delivery was up 31 cents to 72.43 dollars.

Gold closed higher at 1,243.50-1,244.50 US dollars an ounce in Hong Kong, up from Monday's close of 1,214.00-1,215.00 dollars as investors looked for safer haven assets during uncertainty in the markets.


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