Asian stocks rebound on renewed hope for US auto sector | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2008

Asian stocks rebound on renewed hope for US auto sector

Asia's stocks bounced back Monday as investors hopes were raised of a bailout in the United States for the Big Three auto companies.
The markets were battered on Friday after a 14-billion-dollar rescue package for the companies collapsed in the US Senate.
But on Monday Japan's Nikkei index surged 5.21 percent, Hong Kong jumped two percent and Seoul 4.9 percent after Washington suggested it would help by tapping into the 700-billion-dollar bailout initially aimed at the finance sector. Sydney leapt 2.3 percent.
The word from Washington helped a rally on Wall Street, which closed up 0.75 percent Friday.
US President George W. Bush said during a surprise trip to Afghanistan Monday that an agreement on how to remedy the carmakers' plight was not imminent but added: "This will not be a long process because of the urgency."
The Big Three -- General Motors, Ford and Chrysler -- have warned of millions of potential job losses if they collapse, which would send ripple effects through the already faltering economy.
Japan advanced despite the grim results of a business survey showing manufacturers' sentiment had suffered the steepest drop since the 1970s.
The Tankan survey revealed confidence had tumbled to minus 24 in December from minus three in the previous quarter -- anything below zero means pessimists outnumber optimists.
TOKYO: Japan's Nikkei stock index jumped 5.21 percent.
The Nikkei climbed 428.79 points to 8,664.66. The Topix index of all first section issues gained 33.56 points, or 4.1 percent, to 846.93.
Stocks shot higher after the US government said it would consider dipping into its 700-billion-dollar Wall Street rescue fund to bail out US automakers.
Toyota Motor leapt 9.8 percent to 3,030 yen, Honda Motor soared 8.5 percent to 2,085 yen and Nissan Motor advanced 7.5 percent to 331 yen.
Nomura Holdings ended up 0.6 percent at 670 yen. Japan's top broker said it may lose up to 27.5 billion yen (303 million dollars) due to exposure to a financial scandal involving the once high-flying fund manager Bernard Madoff.
HONG KONG: Hong Kong share prices closed 2.0 percent higher.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index was 288.56 points higher at 15,046.95, after trading between 15,007.42 and 15,386.90 during the session. Turnover was light at 42.60 billion Hong Kong dollars (5.46 billion US).
China Construction Bank trimmed the index's gains, after it fell 2.4 percent to 4.48 dollars on a report which said Bank of America was to sell some of its shares in the mainland lender.
And Bank of China (Hong Kong) dropped 4.7 percent to 8.67 dollars after it issued a profit-warning Friday, leading some analysts to downgrade its stock.
SHANGHAI: Chinese shares closed up 0.52 percent.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which covers A and B shares, closed up 10.16 points at 1,964.37 on turnover of 55.2 billion yuan (8.1 billion dollars).
Ping An Insurance rose 4.5 percent to 26.98 yuan and China Life gained 2.5 percent to 19.79 yuan.
China Eastern ended down 8.6 percent at 4.34 yuan while China Southern Airlines fell 7.9 percent to 3.71 yuan. Both rose by the 10 percent daily trading limit Friday.
SINGAPORE: Singapore shares closed 1.98 percent higher.
The main Straits Times Index advanced 34.42 points to 1,774.76. Volume totalled 934 million shares worth 786 million Singapore dollars (510 million US).
Among the blue chips, Singapore Airlines added two cents to 11.06 and Singapore Telecommunications was five cents higher at 2.66.
For the banks, DBS was flat at 10.10 and United Overseas Bank advanced 46 cents to 13.28.
BANGKOK: Thai share prices closed 2.89 percent higher.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index rose 12.27 points to close at 437.06 points.
MUMBAI: Indian shares rose 1.47.
The benchmark 30-share Sensex index rose 142.32 points to 9,832.39.

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