Other Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher


HONG KONG: Asian markets on Tuesday followed a positive lead from Wall Street while the euro retreated as investors kept a cautious eye on Europe, where Greece is struggling to pay its debts.

Tokyo jumped 1.40 percent, or 274.60 points, to finish at 19,909.09 and Shanghai rallied 1.82 percent, or 76.55 points, to 4,293.62. Hong Kong surged 2.79 percent, or 755.56 points, to 27,850.49.

Sydney gained 0.67 percent, or 39.2 points, to 5,872.3 but Seoul was marginally lower, edging down 1.92 points to 2,144.79.

The gains reversed some of the losses suffered on Monday, partly on fears about Greece’s future in the eurozone as Athens tries to secure billions of euros in bailout cash to pay its enormous debts.

With creditors refusing to extend a repayment deadline while also haggling over its bailout reforms, the Greek government has ordered all public agencies to hand over their financial reserves.

“With this act, the government hopes to cover urgent needs of the state amounting to three billion euros for the next 15 days,” said a decree, which still needs adoption by the parliament.

The euro fell in foreign exchange markets Tuesday, buying $1.0677 and 127.74 yen against $1.0741 and 128.05 yen on Wall Street.

Hong Kong and Shanghai resumed their upward trend following sharp losses Monday, after China’s stock market regulator tightened rules on trading with borrowed money and increased the supply of shares for short-selling.

Confidence was buoyed by Sunday’s cut by the People’s Bank of China in the amount of cash which banks must hold in reserve. The move was aimed at helping kick-start the economy, which grew in January-March at its slowest quarterly pace for six years.

The next indicator on the state of China’s economy comes with HSBC’s preliminary index of manufacturing activity on Thursday.

Dollar climbs
US traders welcomed China’s move. The Dow jumped 1.17 percent on Monday, the S&P 500 rose 0.92 percent and the Nasdaq rallied 1.27 percent.

The dollar edged up despite a key Federal Reserve official suggesting that a US rate rise could be put back.

New York Fed president William Dudley said recent inflation data was not strong enough to warrant an increase even though economic growth was healthy.

The dollar was at 119.64 yen against 119.22 yen, and sharply higher than 118.62 yen in Tokyo earlier Monday.

Oil prices retreated. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery declined 44 cents to $55.94 while Brent crude for June fell 56 cents to $62.89 in afternoon trade.

Gold fetched $1,196.95 against $1,200.30 late Monday.



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