Arab Today, arab today asian shares rise on us debt plan hopes
Last Updated : GMT 23:12:04
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Asian shares rise on US debt plan hopes

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Arab Today, arab today Asian shares rise on US debt plan hopes

Hong Kong - AFP

Asian stocks mostly rose on Wednesday after US President Barack Obama threw his weight behind a plan to slash the country\'s deficit that could see the country avoid a devastating default. Tech firms, particularly in South Korea, were boosted by strong earnings reports from US giants Apple and IBM while the confident mood saw dealers shift away from safe-haven assets, sending the price of gold down from record highs. Tokyo closed 1.17 percent, or 116.18 points, higher at 10,005.90 while Seoul rose 1.16 percent, or 24.74 points, to 2,154.95. Hong Kong rose 0.46 percent, or 101.29 points, to 22,003.69 and Sydney added 1.83 percent, or 81.6 points, to end at 4,549.7. However, concerns over domestic growth weighed on Shanghai, which closed 0.10 percent, or 2.78 points, lower at 2,794.21. Obama highlighted a new plan by a bipartisan \"Gang of Six\" senators that aims to slash the US budget deficit by about $3.7 trillion over 10 years and boost revenues $1 trillion by closing tax loopholes and ending some tax breaks. He called the framework \"broadly consistent\" with his call to cut spending including on the US military, overhaul cherished social safety net programmes and raise taxes on the rich to ensure \"shared sacrifice\". Obama said he would call up top congressional leaders, after a House vote late in the day, to set up a new round of White House negotiations and expressed hope for a breakthrough \"in these next couple of days\". However, he warned that the plan faced several hurdles and plenty of work was still needed before a final deal that will allow the debt ceiling to be raised. Lawmakers must find an agreement by August 2 or else Washington will likely miss out on its repayment obligations, sending it into default, which would have seismic ripples around the global economy. Obama has described such a scenario as \"Armageddon\". On Wall Street, the Dow rose 1.63 percent, while the broader S&P 500 also jumped 1.63 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq soared 2.22 percent. US sentiment was lifted by IBM after it reported net income rose eight percent to $3.7 billion in the second quarter. After the US market closed Apple said net profit surged 125 percent and revenues jumped 82 percent on the back of huge sales of iPhones and iPads. Those figures boosted Asian tech firms. In Seoul, LG Display rose 4.8 percent and Samsung Electronics was up 3.53 percent, while in Tokyo Softbank -- which exclusively provides iPhone and iPads in Japan -- added 2.60 percent. And in Taipei, leading smartphone maker HTC rose by the 7.0 percent daily limit. The more buoyant mood supported the euro, which edged up on US debt hopes late Tuesday while eyes were also on a key summit on Thursday at which eurozone heads will try to agree on a second bailout for debt-laden Greece. The European unit edged up to $1.4173 in early European trade from $1.4150 in New York overnight and well up from the $1.4090 in Asia on Tuesday. It was also at 111.84 yen from 112.01 yen in New York but higher than the 111.36 yen seen Tuesday in Asia. The dollar traded at 78.87 yen, from 79.21 yen. In Sydney, Rupert Murdoch\'s News Corp soared 5.1 percent a day after he told British lawmakers he was not to blame for the phone hacking scandal that has rocked his empire and led to the closure of one of his newspapers. The firm\'s shares rallied 5.51 percent in New York to end at US$15.79. The gains came despite a poor performance by Murdoch but were boosted by the fact they had been heavily sold recently while the broader market was also strong, analysts said. Gold closed at $1,591.00-$1,592.00 an ounce in Hong Kong, down from Tuesday\'s finish of $1,608.00-$1,609.00. The precious metal passed $1,610 in London Tuesday as dealers bought it for its safe-haven status but easing concerns over the US deficit have seen them look for riskier assets. On oil markets, New York\'s main contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, advanced 72 cents to $98.22 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September delivery was 78 cents higher at $117.84.

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