Asian markets mostly up, euro falls further

Asian markets were mixed on Friday, with profit-taking reversing some earlier gains, while the euro extended losses made in New York after the ECB cut its growth forecast for the eurozone.

Seoul climbed 0.4 percent, or 7.83 points, to 1,957.45 and Sydney added 0.94 percent, or 42.5 points, to close at 4,551.8 but Tokyo ended 0.19 percent, or 17.77 points, down at 9,527.39.

And Shanghai closed up 1.60 percent, or 32.55 points, at 2,061.79, topping off a positive week, while Hong Kong succumbed in late trade, slipping 0.26 percent, or 58.64 points, to 22,191.17.

Shares in New York provided a bright start to the day as data showed that jobless claims in the United States fell last week after three weeks of higher figures caused by superstorm Sandy.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week to December 1 dropped from 395,000 the previous week and well over 400,000 in the two weeks before.

The news bodes well ahead of the release later Friday of key non-farm payrolls data.

On Wall Street the Dow closed 0.30 percent higher, the S&P 500 added 0.33 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.52 percent.

In Tokyo, the euro rose as dealers moved back into buying mode after it suffered a big fall in New York late Thursday on news the European Central Bank had tipped the eurozone economy shrink 0.3 percent in 2013. It had previously forecast 0.5 percent growth.

The bank also hinted that it might be moving toward cutting its benchmark rate, despite holding firm on Thursday.

The single currency was quoted at $1.2940 in afternoon Asian trade, from $1.2969 in New York late Thursday, and 106.61 yen from 106.86 yen.

The unit was also well down from the $1.3055 and 107.69 yen in Asia earlier on Thursday.

The dollar was at 82.39 yen in Asia, from 82.37 yen in New York.

In Hong Kong, Chinese insurance firm PICC ended 6.9 percent higher on its trading debut after raising $3.1 billion in an initial public offering, making it the city's biggest listing this year.

Shanghai also continued its rebound after hitting a near four-year low on Monday, with traders hoping the mainland government will introduce a fresh round of measures to support the world's number two economy.

On oil markets New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January was up 19 cents at $86.45 a barrel in the afternoon and Brent North Sea crude for January added 21 cents to $107.24.

Gold was at $1,696.90 at 1040 GMT compared with $1,693.03 late on Thursday.

In other markets:

-- Singapore closed up 0.94 percent, or 28.91 points, at 3,107.11.

DBS Group gained 1.23 percent to Sg$14.79 and Keppel Corp. added 1.32 percent to Sg$10.73.

-- Taipei rose 0.25 percent, or 19.0 points, to 7,642.26.

TSMC rose 1.55 percent to Tw$98.1 while Hon Hai Precision was 1.06 percent higher at Tw$95.5.

-- Manila added 0.53 percent, or 30.56 points, to end at 5,794.20.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone gained 1.45 percent to 2,648 pesos while Ayala Land rose 1.03 percent to 24.50 pesos.

-- Wellington added 0.45 percent, or 18.17 points, to end at 4,041.53.

Air New Zealand rose 1.9 percent to NZ$1.34 but Chorus fell 2.1 percent to NZ$2.79.

-- Kuala Lumpur shares climbed 1.54 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 1,617.77.

British American Tobacco gained 1.8 percent to 59.44 ringgit, while Petronas Chemicals Group added 0.2 percent to 5.71. AirAsia lost 1.4 percent to 2.76 ringgit.

-- Jakarta ended down 1.81 points, or 0.04 percent, at 4,290.80.

Mobile phone provider Indosat climbed 1.63 percent to 6,250 rupiah, while cement maker Indocement Tunggal Prakarsa dropped 2.61 percent to 22,400 rupiah and palm oil producer Astra Agro Lestari fell 0.27 percent to 18,550 rupiah.

-- Bangkok fell 4.93 points or 0.37 percent to close at 1,334.95.

Coal producer Banpu gained 0.26 percent to 393.00 baht while energy giant PTT Plc lost 0.61 percent to 326.00 baht.

-- Mumbai's Sensex index was down 0.32 percent or 62.70 points to 19,424.10 points.

Mahindra and Mahindra was up 0.74 percent at 936.85 rupees and Hindustan Unilever was down 0.65 percent at 530.90 rupees.

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Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.2499-0.001-0.08%
    USDSGD=X
    1.7297+0.0015+0.09%
    EURSGD=X
    2.1036+0.0023+0.11%
    GBPSGD=X
    81.6328-0.1036-0.13%
    SGDJPY=X
    6.2037+0.0049+0.08%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.5901-0.0017-0.06%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,149.8213+6.8037+0.07%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9769+0.0039+0.08%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.1717-0.0003-0.02%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,301.90-1.60-0.12%
    GCM14.CMX
    19.57-0.06-0.33%
    SIK14.CMX
    90.83-1.04-1.14%
    ^XAU
    3.03+0.01+0.30%
    HGK14.CMX
    104.13+0.37+0.36%
    CLK14.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.65+0.04
    ^FVX
    2.64+0.01
    ^TNX
    3.45-0.01
    ^TYX

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.115-0.002-1.71%
    B22.SI
    2.28+0.100+4.59%
    5ME.SI
    0.485+0.025+5.43%
    5GJ.SI
    0.1120.0000.00%
    A78.SI
    2.190.0000.00%
    JS8.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.17+0.010+6.25%
    T16.SI
    0.138+0.006+4.55%
    5BM.SI
    0.235+0.010+4.44%
    5G9.SI
    0.235+0.010+4.44%
    5G1.SI
    0.485+0.025+5.43%
    5GJ.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.255-0.015-5.56%
    5AM.SI
    0.58-0.030-4.92%
    544.SI
    0.275-0.005-1.79%
    M1Z.SI
    1.28-0.015-1.16%
    TI6.SI
    0.295-0.005-1.67%
    GG7.SI