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Most Asian markets advance in thin trading; Nikkei adds 0.7 percent

Most Asian markets advance in thin trading; Nikkei adds 0.7 percent

Most Asian markets rose in thin trading Wednesday, with stocks in Japan and China advancing modestly while the Philippine benchmark index jumped to two-week high.
South Korean and Taiwanese shares dipped and trading in many markets was slow due to the Christmas holidays and the absence of foreign investors. Markets in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand were closed.
In Tokyo, the yen's recent weakness prompted investors to buy exporters such as Toyota and Canon. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index added 100.95 points, or 0.65 percent, to close at 15,653.54 points after it surged 1.94 percent the day before.
Traders said they plan to closely watch Japanese economic indicators _ including consumer prices and jobless data _ due out on Friday, the last trading session of the year, for their impact on share prices.
"We will need to be careful if the market tries to digest them all in the half-day session and ends up inviting speculative trading," said Chuo Securities' stock trading chief Mamoru Maeda.
Toyota Motor Corp. rose 1.3 percent and Nissan Motor Co. added 1.6 percent, helped also by strong auto production data for November.
Canon gained 1.7 percent, Hitachi Ltd. ended up 0.8 percent and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. climbed 0.4 percent a day after the three announced a tie-up in their liquid crystal display business.
Sanyo Electric tumbled 11 percent after the company's restatement of past earnings data prompted the Tokyo bourse to put its shares on a watch list for possible delisting.
In currencies, the dollar was trading at 114.13 yen at 1150 GMT Wednesday, down from 114.18 yen late Tuesday in Tokyo. In late November, the dollar fell below 108 yen, potentially eroding foreign revenue for Japanese exporters.
In China, stocks rebounded from a one-day drop as automakers and chemical companies climbed on expectations of strong earnings.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.6 percent at 5,233.35 points. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second market rose 1.7 percent to 1,433.06.
Automaker Beiqi Foton Motor rose 3 percent, while Hunan Changfeng Motor ended up 3.4 percent. Chemical maker Shandong Haihua rose 3.4 percent and Dymatic Chemicals jumped 5.2 percent.
Shares in banks and real estate developers fell on concern about possible government steps to tighten access to credit. Such worries dragged down the Shanindex by 0.6 percent on Tuesday.
"Investors are wary of buying into bank and property developers out of concerns over upcoming macroeconomic measures, and accelerating rotational buying is taking place in sectors with a positive 2008 outlook like chemicals, cars, pharmaceuticals and military machines," said Everbright Securities analyst Shi Honglin.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest commercial lender, dropped 1.6 percent while Hua Xia Bank fell 2.1 percent.
Elsewhere:
BANGKOK: Thailand's main stock index dropped 0.3 percent to 841.20.
JAKARTA: Indonesian shares rose, with the main stock index advancing 2.1 percent to 2,714.548.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian shares ended little changed. The Kuala Lumpur Composite Index rose 0.1 percent to 1,424.02.
MANILA: Philippine shares surged to a two-week high as fund managers began enhancing portfolios before the year-end. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 79.65 points, or 2.3 percent to 3,612.63.
SEOUL: South Korean shares took a breather after a two-session rally as some players became more cautious ahead of the ex-dividend day Thursday. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, closed down 12.75 points, or 0.7 percent, at 1,906.72.
SINGAPORE: Singapore shares rose as investors continued to build their portfolios for the next year. The Straits Times Index closed up 1.1 percent, or 38.68 points, at 3,473.21.
TAIPEI: Taiwan shares dipped slightly as a nervous market awaited the verdict on a prosecutorial appeal of presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's acquittal on graft charges. The Weighted Price Index of the Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 10.68 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 8,156.39 points.


Updated : 2021-05-16 07:04 GMT+08:00