Marts rally after record Wall St finish

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HONG KONG: Asian markets rose yesterday and the dollar edged up against the yen after another record finish on Wall Street, but trade was cautious ahead of a United Sates Federal Reserve (US Fed) policy decision.

With few trading cues to drive business, investors took a recent batch of weak US data as evidence to suggest the US Fed will keep its stimulus programme in place until the new year.

Tokyo ended 1.23 per cent stronger, advancing 176.37 points to 14,502.35, and Sydney added 0.28 per cent, or 15.4 points, to 5,430.9. Seoul closed 0.38 per cent higher, adding 7.82 points to end the day’s trade at 2,059.58 while, Shanghai closed 1.48 per cent, or 31.60 points, higher at 2,160.46.

Tokyo stocks were also boosted by figures showing a healthy rise in factory output in September from August, adding to evidence of a pick-up in the world’s number three economy.

The government said factory output rose 1.5 per cent last month thanks to a rise in demand for electronics and cars.

The figures come a day after data showed a 3.7 per cent jump in household spending last month, and add to a growing feeling that the big-spending policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are gaining traction.

Internationally, markets expect that the US Federal Reserve – which will wrap up a two-day meeting on yesterday – will keep its US$ 85 billion a month stimulus in place.

But they will pore over its announcement for clues as to when it will start winding down.

The bank had been expected to begin tapering by the end of this year but weak data – including on jobs growth – and this month’s two-week government shutdown has made that highly unlikely. Most traders expect a reduction in bond-buying to begin in early 2014.

In other markets:

* Taipei climbed 0.52 per cent, or 44.08 points, to 8,465.06. Hon Hai rose 1.35 per cent to T$ 75.0 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co added 0.46 per cent to T$ 110.0.

* Wellington rose 0.32 per cent, or 15.49 points, to 4,868.08. Meridian Energy added 1.9 per cent to NZ$ 1.10 a day after its debut and Telecom gained 1.1 per cent to close at NZ$ 2.30.

* Manila climbed 0.82 per cent, or 53.75 points, to 6,597.21. AFP

Business Times : marketwatch

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