Asian Market Snapshot: Most Asian Markets Gain as Earnings Reports Provide Optimistic Outlook

Apple Inc. reported a 78% increase in profits to US$3.25 billion for the second-quarter up from US$1.83 billion one-year ago.  Their earnings report boosted technology stocks throughout the region.  Apple suppliers reaped much of the benefits provided by the earnings report.  Samsung stock jumped 2.4% in South Korea.

Both the MSCI Asia Pacific index and the MSCI Asia Apex 50 rose as they gained 0.1% and 0.6% respectively.

While other Asian markets rose, the Japanese NIKKEI 225 fell 0.2%.  Investors are still exhibiting concern in response to dismal U.S. housing data. The return on Japanese stocks was also limited by the yen’s strengthening.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng climbed 1.1%.

China’s Shanghai Composite jumped 0.3%.  The index’s gains this week have been based on investors’ expectations that the government will shy away from measures associated with fiscal austerity.  It has also been reported that the People’s Bank of China will allow the yuan to depreciate if exports fall.

The Indian SENSEX 30 rose 0.6% marking the first gain for the index in three days.  Investor confidence began to manifest again after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced that the moderation of food inflation was a possibility.  A stabilization of the inflation rate would allow the Reserve Bank of India to keep the interest rate at its current level, a level that has increased three times in 2010.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2%. 

In Seoul, the KRX 100 rose 0.9%.  After the market’s closing, it was announced that Korea Electric Power Corporation had agreed to purchase a 20% stake in PT Bayan Resources.

On currencies, the yen fell 0.11% against the dollar. The rupiah stayed flat. The rupee and Aussie Dollar gained 0.02% and 0.18% while the Kiwi slid 0.22% against the dollar.  The renminbi also gained 0.02%

Changes in sovereign yields were a mixed bag for the region.  While yields decreased for Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, yields increased in China, New Zealand, and India.

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