Tokyo recovers as Asian markets witness tentative gains

Tokyo : Tokyo stocks rallied on Thursday after three days of losses and leading a cautious recovery in Asian markets with technology firms seeing some much-needed buying.

While traders managed to staunch the recent sell-off across the region several issues continue to dog sentiment, the latest being the repercussions of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Strong gains in big name firms including Amazon, Facebook and Google parent  Alphabet provided some buying impetus for the sector in Asia.

Tencent jumped 1.7 percent and Sony rose 0.6 percent while Samsung was 0.5 percent higher, although ongoing worries about further selling kept a cap on gains. But energy firms, which also dived Wednesday, suffered again after a plunge in oil prices overnight fuelled by disappointing US stockpiles data.

On broader markets Tokyo ended the morning session 1.3 percent higher, while Hong Kong added 0.2 percent — the two benchmark indexes had plunged around two percent on Wednesday. Sydney was up 0.6 percent and Singapore put on 0.1 percent but Shanghai shed 0.4 percent and Seoul sipped 0.3 percent.

After a blockbuster year for most global markets, helped by bets on Trump’s promise to cut taxes and ramp up spending — geopolitical worries and dealers winding down for the year’s end have put them on course for a painful December.

Trump’s controversial decision on Jerusalem drew swift global condemnation and fanned fears about the overall prospects for stability in the Middle East.

That followed news this week that one of Trump’s former close advisers had admitted lying to investigators in a probe into Russian meddling in the US election, putting the probe closer to the White House.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been given a deadline of the end of this week to resolve outstanding issues in order to draft an agenda in time for a crucial EU summit on December 14-15.

The digital unit has risen 20-fold since January and on Thursday hit a peak of $14,400, just a day after breaching $12,000.

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.3 percent at 22,457.74 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 28,288.66

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,282.57

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1794 from $1.1795 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3380 from $1.3387

Dollar/yen: UP at 112.47 yen from 112.29 yen

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 14 cents at $56.10 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 10 cents at $61.32 per barrel

New York – DOW: DOWN 0.2 percent at 24,140.91 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,348.03 (close)

Source : AFP



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