Asian stocks take breather after surge

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HONG KONG: Asian markets were mixed on Monday as traders took a breather after last week’s rally, but Shanghai hit a 21-month high on hopes of Chinese stimulus measures after a weak manufacturing report.

Wall Street Friday had provided a healthy lead, with the Dow and S&P 500 reaching new highs after Japan’s central bank said it would ramp up its own stimulus program to kickstart growth.

The dollar held on to Friday’s gains against the yen, sitting at seven-year highs. Friday’s news came days after the US Federal Reserve ended its own stimulus.

Sydney eased 0.36 percent, or 19.7 points, to 5,506.9, while Seoul dropped 0.58 percent, or 11.46 points, to close at 1,952.97.


Hong Kong ended 0.34 percent lower, dipping 82.09 points to 23,915.97. But Shanghai closed 0.41 percent higher, adding 9.85 points to 2,430.03, its highest since February last year.

Tokyo was shut for a public holiday. Global markets and the dollar surged on Friday after the Bank of Japan said it would widen its asset-purchasing scheme to boost lending and try to avoid a recession.

After a jump in Asian shares, including a near-five percent rise in Tokyo, Wall Street powered ahead. The Dow leapt 1.13 percent and the S&P 500 added 1.17 percent—both hitting all-time highs—while the Nasdaq gained 1.41 percent.

However, dealers took a breather for the first day of November trade, with profit-takers moving in.

China at the weekend released an index of manufacturing activity that showed growth slowed in October, the latest data indicating the world’s second-largest economy slowing down.

AFP

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