Asian shares mostly up

Asian shares mostly up

2014-07-15 11:28

Hong Kong - Asian shares mostly rose on Tuesday, taking their lead from a second straight advance on Wall Street, while investors await a string of market-moving news and data over the next few days.

The broad Asian gains add to Monday's positive performance and provided support to the dollar after it took a hit last week.

Tokyo rose 0.78% to 15 416.66 points thanks to the weaker yen, with investors largely unmoved by the Bank of Japan's expected decision to stand pat on monetary policy.

Seoul jumped 0.94% to end at 2 012.72 points and Sydney closed flat, edging down 0.1 points to 5 511.3.

Shanghai closed 0.18% higher at 2 070.36 points, while Hong Kong added 0.49% to 23 459.96 points.

New York's three main indexes ended higher on Monday thanks to better-than-forecast earnings from banking titan Citigroup, which was described by Wall Street rival Bank of America Merrill Lynch as "encouraging for large peers that report earnings this week".

The Dow rose 0.66%, the S&P 500 advanced 0.48% and the Nasdaq put on 0.56%.

In Japan the central bank held off announcing any widening of its stimulus programme, saying the economy was recovering despite April's sales tax rise, although it revised down its growth forecast for the fiscal year to March.

"It came as no surprise that the BoJ left policy settings unchanged today and presented upbeat inflation forecasts, but we still think more easing will be announced in October," said Marcel Thieliant from Capital Economics.

Later on Tuesday will see US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen begin two days of congressional testimony, with traders hoping for more detail on the bank's time frame for raising interest rates.

Also in sight is a US retail sales report for June and earnings from some major US companies, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

China growth data in focus

However, the main focus this week in Asia is on China's second-quarter gross domestic product growth figures, which are due on Wednesday.

On currency markets the buoyant sentiment provided support to the dollar, which edged up as investors grew more confident about risk.

In early trade the green back was changing hands at ¥101.58 against ¥101.54 in New York on Monday and well up from the ¥101.25 at the end of last week.

The euro bought $1.3619 and ¥138.30 against $1.3619 and ¥138.29 in US trade.

Oil prices were mixed. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was down 17 cents to $100.74 while Brent crude eased 32 cents to $106.66 in late trade.

Gold dipped. It fetched $1 308.34 an ounce at 10:10 compared with $1 321.37 late on Monday.

In other markets:

- Taipei gained 0.51% to 9 569.17 points. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.38% higher at Tw$133.0 while Hon Hai Precision gained 0.91% to Tw$111.0.

- Wellington fell 0.24% to 5 115.40 points. Fletcher Building was down 0.11% at NZ$8.87 and Telecom eased 0.73% to NZ$2.73.

- Manila ended flat, nudging up 3.67 points to 6 834.04. LT Group rose 3.79% to 15.88 pesos, BDO Unibank was up 0.50% at 90.55 pesos and Alliance Global added 0.90% to 28.10 pesos.

- Kuala Lumpur was closed for a public holiday.