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Tokyo, Hong Kong shares reach new record highs as most Asian markets climb

Tokyo, Hong Kong shares reach new record highs as most Asian markets climb

Most Asian markets rose Thursday, as shares in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Shanghai, Sydney and New Zealand continued to climb to new record highs.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index edged up 1.66 points, or 0.01 percent, to finish at 17,224.81 points _ its highest close since May 8.
"The market will likely stay around here at the beginning of the new year," said Yuji Nakagawa, head of the derivative dealing division at Toyo Securities.
In Thursday's session, most steel stocks advanced on continued expectations for their solid earnings and hopes for realignment in the industry.
Nippon Steel Corp. jumped 5.29 percent to 677 yen (US$5.69) and Kobe Steel Ltd. posted a 3.01 percent gain to 411 yen (US$3.45). But Inpex Holdings Inc. slipped 0.20 percent to 983,000 yen (US$8,260.50) amid caution about chasing upside following one-month rally in market, traders said.
Other gainers included brokerage stocks, with Daiwa Securities Group Inc. rising 0.75 percent to 1,339 yen (US$11.25).
In Hong Kong, shares rallied to a record high for the third consecutive session, on the back of strong fund inflow and rotational buying in blue-chips.
The blue-chip Hang Seng Index rose 276.18 points, or 1.4 percent, to 20,001.91 _ the first time the index has risen above the 20,000 point.
Analysts said strong fund flows into laggards in the market drove an overall rise in the market.
Laggards among Chinese banks, such as BOC Hong Kong, the Hong Kong-listed arm of Bank of China, rose 8.4 percent to HK$21.0. Bank of Communications climbed 1.6 percent to HK$9.63.
Hong Kong-listed Chinese stocks, called "H" shares, rallied 1.02 percent to 10,363.28 points _ a record high for the second consecutive session _ on hopes of yuan appreciation and a potential tax unification reform.
Analysts said the buying momentum for Chinese stocks is so strong that it offset profit-taking activities after yesterday's rally.
"You only experience this kind of market craziness perhaps every five or six years," says Alex Wong, a fund manager of Shenyin Wanguo Asset Management.
But some Chinese banks fell, as investors were beginning to see their valuations as too high, traders said. China Construction Bank dropped 0.2 percent to HK$5.1, while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China fell 1.2 percent to HK$4.92.
In currencies, the U.S. dollar was trading at 118.71 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange market late Thursday, down from 118.74 yen late Wednesday in New York. The euro rose to US$1.3127, from US$1.3123.
Elsewhere:
BANGKOK: Thai shares closed lower, falling 1.1 percent at 680.36 in moderate trade.
JAKARTA: Indonesia shares rose 0.1 percent to an all-time record high of 1,805.52 on the last trading day of the year, with gains in telecommunication blue chips keeping index in positive territory.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares rose, buoyed by local funds that bought key stocks to push prices higher before the year's end. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index of 100 blue chips climbed 0.5 percent to 1,088.85 points.
MANILA: Philippine shares surged on a Wall Street rally and an upbeat growth outlook for 2007, paving the way for more gains during the next session. The benchmark Philippine Stock Exchange Index rose 59.91 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,943.38 _ its best finish since April 18, 1997.
MUMBAI: Indian shares ended flat after a choppy session and are expected to move sideways until key players and foreign fund managers, get back from year-end holidays next week. The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-stock Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 13.35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,846.34.
SEOUL: South Korean shares were buoyed by window-dressing by institutions on the year's last trading day, with the benchmark index ending 2006 up 4 percent from the start of the year. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, closed up 0.7 percent, or 9.36 points, at 1,434.46.
SHANGHAI: China's shares rose to record highs for a fourth straight day, driven by demand for bank stocks. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.2 percent to 2,567.59 after breaking through the symbolic 2,600 level several times during the day.
SINGAPORE: Singapore's shares inched upwards to close at a record high, boosted in part by similar gains in other regional markets and on Wall Street. The Straits Times Index closed up 2.24 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to finish at 2,963.49 points.
SYDNEY: Fresh record highs on Wall Street pushed the Australian share market up for the third day running, with dealers saying they expect the market to hold its gains in the next few weeks and 2007 to be another good year for the Australian market. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 percent to close at 5,660.5.
TAIPEI: Taiwan shares barely budged Thursday as trading slowed down ahead of the New Year holiday. The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange dropped 0.25 points, or less than 0.01 percent, to 7,732.93.
WELLINGTON: Solid offshore markets drove New Zealand shares to a record closing high for the second straight session, though brokers are divided on whether the recent strong run will continue through year-end. The benchmark NZX-50 finished up 15 points, or 0.4 percent, at 4,047.29.


Updated : 2021-04-18 16:13 GMT+08:00