Archive for November, 2008

World stocks headed toward 6th session of gains (Reuters)

Friday, November 28th, 2008 | Finance News

LONDON (Reuters) –
Global stocks headed toward a sixth consecutive session of gains on Friday, although European shares were weak, as investors took some comfort from government moves to stimulate a deteriorating world economy.

The dollar was weaker. Demand for U.S. Treasuries and euro zone government bonds rose as concerns remained about the global economic decline.

Oil fell below $53 a barrel, on course to end the month down more than 20 percent, as OPEC ministers prepared to meet in Cairo to discuss potential further supply cuts.

Indian stocks were higher as a siege in Mumbai between police and Islamist gunmen continued, but India's 10 year bond yield fell to its lowest level in three years on expectations that the attacks will an impetus to rate cuts.

Globally, the MSCI all-country world index (.MIWD00000PUS) rose 0.3 percent, bringing this week's gain to 11.6 percent. It would be the first weekly gain in four weeks.

"On a range of measures, there is undoubted value to be found in many of the world's equity markets," said Sarah Arkle, chief investment officer with Threadneedle Asset Management.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3) was flat, held back by weak oil-related shares.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.7 percent for its best week in a month. It (.n225) gained 138.88 points to 8,512.27, while the broader Topix (.TOPX) was up 0.7 percent to 834.82.

A monthly Reuters survey found that Japanese retail investors became slightly less pessimistic about domestic equities in November, fitting with other signs globally that recent market sell offs may be bottoming at least temporarily.


Oil fell to just below $53 a barrel. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is to hold an informal meeting on Saturday in Cairo, as it struggles to slice output fast enough to keep pace with a recessionary reduction in fuel demand in the West that has sent crude prices down nearly two-thirds since July.

U.S. light crude for January delivery stood at $52.92 a barrel, down $1.52.

The dollar lost traction against major currencies against the slightly brighter environment for shares.

"The phase of dollar strength that we've seen since the beginning of the crisis seems to be going through a pause in the context of a slightly better stock market environment," said Audrey Childe-Freeman, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in London.

"There's still a lot of risk around however," she added.

The dollar was 0.3 percent lower against a basket of six major currencies at 85.523 (.DXY), while the euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.2915. The dollar dipped 0.1 percent to 95.22 yen.

Euro zone government bonds rose, reflecting concern about the economy and expectations of interest rate cuts. Two-year Schatz yields sank 10 basis points to 2.219 percent.


HK stock index rises for 4th straight day (AP)

Friday, November 28th, 2008 | Finance News

HONG KONG – Hong Kong's key stock index advanced for a fourth straight session Friday as investors bet Wall Street will extend gains when trade resumes following the Thanksgiving holiday.

The blue chip Hang Seng index rose 336.18 points, or 2.5 percent, to 13,888.24.

The benchmark index has gained 9.7 percent this week, during which the Chinese government slashed a key interest rate by the largest amount in 11 years to spur economic growth and the U.S. government announced a bailout of Citigroup.

Analysts said investors anticipated the Dow Jones industrial average would extend recent gains after the U.S. stock market was closed Thursday for Thanksgiving.

"Investors are having some wishful thinking that the U.S. stocks will continue to rise as market sentiments are improving," said Conita Hung, head of research at Delta Asia Securities.

Most stocks gained Friday except Chinese financials. Telecom heavyweight China Mobile added 2.3 percent to 71.10 Hong Kong dollars. China Unicom rose 6.6 percent to HK$9.56, China Telecom was 3.5 percent higher at HK$2.95.

In commodities, upstream oil producer CNOOC soared 5.8 percent to HK$6.25 and Sinopec gained 3.2 to HK$5.15.

Bucking the trend, top lender ICBC lost 0.5 percent to HK$3.80 while China Contruction Bank dropped 2.6 percent.

Insurer Ping An insurance fell 5.7 percent to HK$29.25. Rival China Life was off 2.7 percent to HK$19.94.


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London stock market up at open (AFP)

Friday, November 28th, 2008 | Finance News

The London stock market rose 0.15 percent to 4,232.50 points when trading began on Friday.

The capital's FTSE 100 index of leading shares had closed up 1.77 percent on Thursday.