Arab Today, arab today asia shares mostly up on ecb rate comments
Last Updated : GMT 11:39:24
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Arab Today, arab today

Asia shares mostly up on ECB rate comments

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Asia shares mostly up on ECB rate comments

Tokyo - AFP

Asian markets mostly climbed on Friday after the European Central Bank said it would keep interest rates at record lows for \"as long as necessary\", while concerns over Portugal\'s political crisis also abated. The euro remained under pressure in Asia after suffering losses late Thursday in the wake of the ECB announcement, while the dollar extended its gains against the yen after climbing back above 100 yen. Tokyo\'s benchmark Nikkei index rose 2.08 percent, or 291.04 points, to 14,309.97 amid thin trading ahead of the release of the monthly US labour report later in the day. \"All eyes are now on the US non-farm payroll figures due later in the global trading day,\" an equity trading director at a foreign brokerage told Dow Jones Newswires. \"Individual investor support for the market remains resilient, with confidence in the US economic rebound (and) the relatively strong dollar,\" the person said. Among major Tokyo shares, Toyota Motors rose 2.10 percent to 6,310 yen, Sony added 0.64 percent to 2,195 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group rose 0.93 percent to 646 yen. The Sydney index was 0.98 percent, or 47.0 points, higher at 4,841.7, while in the afternoon Hong Kong added 1.67 percent and Shanghai was up 0.23 percent. Seoul eased 0.32 percent, or 5.83 points, to 1,833.31 as market giant Samsung Electronics suffered a sell-off after announcing a weaker-than-expected earnings forecast. With New York markets closed for Independence Day, traders took their lead from Europe, where markets rallied on comments from the ECB that it would maintain its easy monetary policy. On forex markets the euro tumbled in London trade, with low interest rates meaning the currency would not provide very good returns. And on Friday it continued to fall, buying $1.2895 and 129.30 yen, off from $1.2922 and 129.62 yen in London. The dollar, which has been buoyed by an improved global outlook, rose to 100.23 yen in Tokyo, compared with 99.71 yen in London late Thursday. Eyes will later Friday turn to Washington, awaiting the release of non-farm payroll data, which will provide an idea of the state of the US economy. In Seoul, electronics giant Samsung fell 2.81 percent after estimating 9.5 trillion won ($8.3 billion) in operating profit for the April-June quarter. While it said the figure would be a record, analysts had expected a figure of more than 10 trillion won after it released its much-vaunted Galaxy S4 smartphone in April. \"Demand for high-priced, high-end smartphones shows slowing growth, which could hurt Samsung\'s profit margin,\" IBK Investment and Securities analyst Lee Seung-Woo told the Yonhap news agency. Oil prices were lower on profit-taking after rallying recently on events in Egypt. Dealers are keep tabs on events in the country after the army overthrew President Mohamed Morsi, with fears growing that the coup could send shockwaves through the crude-rich Middle East. In afternoon trade New York\'s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for delivery in August, was down 15 cents at $101.09 a barrel in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude for August fell eight cents to $105.46. Gold was at $1,242.15 per ounce at 0630 GMT, compared with $1,250.80 late Thursday. In other markets: -- Taipei rose 1.37 percent, or 108.1 points, to 8,001.82. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company rose 1.87 percent to Tw$109.0 while smartphone maker HTC was 1.0 percent higher at Tw$203.0. -- Wellington rose 0.69 percent, or 30.91 points, to 4,489.86. Chorus added 1.9 percent to NZ$2.63 and Fletcher Building gained 1.5 percent to NZ$8.62.

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