Arab Today, arab today asian markets welcome greek confidence vote
Last Updated : GMT 23:42:36
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Asian markets welcome Greek confidence vote

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Asian markets welcome Greek confidence vote

Hong Kong - AFP

Asian stock markets jumped on Wednesday after Greece\'s embattled prime minister won a confidence vote, taking him one step closer to pushing through austerity measures and avoiding a default. Tokyo rose 1.79 percent, or 169.77 points, to 9,629.43 and Seoul closed 0.77 percent, or 15.73 points, higher at 2,063.90. Sydney ended up 0.54 percent, or 24.4 points, at 4,532.6 while Hong Kong climbed 0.69 percent. Shanghai rose 0.11 percent, with gains capped by concerns over a widely expected interest rate hike. Just hours before Asian markets opened, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou successfully mobilised his thin majority despite the presence of 4,000 angry demonstrators outside parliament to win a vote he said paved the way for cuts needed \"to avoid bankruptcy and keep Greece in the euro core\". Athens now effectively has two weeks to convince its European peers that it will carry out long-delayed structural reforms and privatisations in order to secure badly needed bailout money before its funds run out in July. The eurozone issued an ultimatum to Greece on Monday, when it held back the latest slice of a 110-billion-euro ($160-billion) rescue loan package agreed last year. It told Greek lawmakers, in effect, to support the government and approve swingeing new budget cuts, saying further delay and uncertainty could increase pressure throughout the eurozone. Greece needs the 12-billion-euro loan instalment to pay bills next month. A much bigger issue for the whole eurozone is a second loan package, expected to be around 100 billion euros, needed by Athens to avoid default on its debt in the months and years ahead. Ahead of the vote, optimism had gripped Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.91 percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1.34 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.19 percent. \"The Greece situation in recent days has at least shown signs of progression rather than stagnation,\" said Tim Waterer, senior currency Dealer at CMC Markets in Sydney, according to Dow Jones Newswires. \"The march higher in equities... provided some comfort to a market which is desperate to latch onto any hint of good news,\" he said. The news from Europe provided fresh buying impetus for the euro in the afternoon in Asia after it was sold for profit on the back of overnight gains. The euro edged up to $1.4411 in Tokyo afternoon trade from $1.4408 in New York late Tuesday. The European single currency also picked up to 115.59 yen from 115.53 yen. The dollar edged up to 80.30 yen against 80.22 yen. With the breathing space provided by the vote, attention could now shift to the US economy and a key meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the body within the Federal Reserve that sets interest rates. The FOMC began its two-day meeting on Tuesday, and on Wednesday it is expected to announce it will allow its $600 billion asset purchase programme to expire as scheduled at the end of June. Oil was mixed. New York\'s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for August delivery, fell 58 cents to $93.59 a barrel in the afternoon. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August rose seven cents to $111.02. Gold opened in Hong Kong at $1,546.50-$1,547.50 an ounce, slightly up from Tuesday\'s close of $1,544.00-$1,545.00. In other markets: Taipei closed 0.27 percent, or 23.42 points, higher at 8,621.04. Leading smartphone maker HTC gained 5.39 percent to Tw$1,075 while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 1.19 percent lower at Tw$75.0. Manila added 0.79 percent, or 33.47 points, to 4,245.28. Atlas Consolidated Mining was up 4.4 percent at 18.98 pesos, brewer San Miguel gained 0.6 percent to 114.70 pesos and Philippine Long Distance Telephone was 1.2 percent higher at 2,350 percent. Wellington ended flat, edging down 2.10 points to 3,457.46. Air New Zealand rose 1.8 percent to NZ$1.14 and retailer Pumpkin Patch shed 2.9 percent to NZ$1.02 and Fletcher Building rose 0.8 percent to NZ$8.57 but Telecom slipped 0.2 percent to NZ$2.41.

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