Monday, July 27, 2009

Asian Markets Post Solid Gains in Early Trading

. Monday, July 27, 2009

By stockOzone team

The Nikkei 225 stock index rose 1.6 percent in early trading Monday – breaking through the 10,000 mark in the process – as the other major indexes in Asia all followed with solid gains.

The Nikkei reached 10,108 by midday, its highest level in six weeks, and the index was on track to reach a nine-month high.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was up 1.5 percent, breaching the 20,000 mark, led by China Mobile, which jumped 2.9 percent on speculation that it could soon be allowed to sell shares in mainland China.

Casino stocks in Macao also showed strong gains Monday, notably Galaxy Entertainment, which was up 3.5 percent, and SJM Holdings, higher by 2.8 percent. Stanley Ho, the SJM founder, is a strong backer of Fernando Chui, who was elected Sunday as the new chief executive of the Chinese territory. His pro-Beijing leanings are expected to bolster the gaming industry in Macao.

The Shanghai Composite rose 1.2 percent in Monday’s early trading. The index is up 87 percent this year, the second-best market performance in the world this year, according to a tracking of 89 indexes by Bloomberg News. Only Peru has done better.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Singapore index was up 1.8 percent, the Kospi in Seoul was 1.5 percent higher and Sydney registered a morning increase of 1.2 percent.

In Tokyo, Hitachi was 4.4 percent higher by early afternoon after a report in the Nikkei business daily said the company would acquire five key affiliates in a broad-ranging corporate reorganization. Shares of Hitachi and the five subsidiaries were temporarily suspended from trading.

Nomura Holdings, Daiwa Securities, the wireless carrier Softbank and the disk-drive motormaker Nidec also showed strong gains in Tokyo.

Disclosure: Author does not own any of the stocks discussed here.

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