Arab Today, arab today asian shares surge on central banks\ move
Last Updated : GMT 17:51:52
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Asian shares surge on central banks\' move

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Arab Today, arab today Asian shares surge on central banks\' move

Hong kong - AFP

Asian markets surged Thursday after the world\'s top central banks took action to boost liquidity for the gummed-up financial system and China cut the amount of cash lenders must hold in reserve. Regional shares followed a global rally on easing fears of a credit crunch that has been aggravated by the European debt crisis. Hong Kong surged 5.29 percent, Shanghai was up 2.34 percent and Tokyo was 2.10 percent higher by the break, while Sydney jumped 2.27 percent, Seoul climbed 3.65 percent and Taipei was 3.90 percent up. In a surprise move on Wednesday the central banks of the United States, the eurozone, Britain, Japan, Canada and Switzerland said they would cut the cost of providing dollars to banks. \"The purpose of these actions is to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity,\" they said in a statement. European banks have for months found difficulty raising dollars on the markets after US investment funds pulled out over concerns about the eurozone debt crisis. However, Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa warned that the move was not enough on its own to solve Europe\'s fiscal woes. \"The European debt problem can\'t be solved by liquidity provisions alone,\" he told a press conference, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Eyes will now be on a European summit next week, where pressure will be on leaders to come up with a plan to tackle the region\'s two-year-old sovereign debt crisis, which has roiled markets. The arrangement allows the central banks to lend dollars to commercial banks that might be finding it hard to borrow directly from other banks. They said they would reduce the interest rate on this operation by half a percentage point from December 5 until February 1, 2013. \"The move intended to help short-term funding at financial institutions (amid Europe\'s sovereign-debt crisis) came as a surprise,\" said Yoshihiro Okumura, general manager at Chibagin Asset Management. \"This illustrates how urgent the situation might be.\" Also on Wednesday Beijing said it would cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50 basis points in a bid to boost liquidity, the first such move by China since the global downturn amid expectations of a bout of monetary easing. On Thursday official data showed that manufacturing activity in the world\'s second biggest economy contracted in November for the first time in 32 months after more than a year of rate hikes and RRR rises aimed at curbing inflation. The figures backed up a similar report by HSBC last week. Global markets surged on Wednesday. On Wall Street the Dow soared 4.2 percent, the broader S&P 500 jumped 4.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.2 percent. And London\'s FTSE 100 was up 3.16 percent, the German Dax added 4.98 percent and Paris\'s CAC 40 gained 4.22 percent. The euro received a much-needed boost in New York, jumping more than a cent to $1.3438 and to 104.25 yen from 103.66 yen. In early Asian trade the common currency fetched $1.3445 and 104.32 yen. The dollar was almost unchanged at 77.58 yen. New York\'s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, gained 22 cents to $100.58 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for January delivery shed 19 cents to $110.33. And dollar-priced gold jumped as the US unit weakened. The precious metal was trading at $1,747.75 an ounce at 0315 GMT, from $1,705.75 late Wednesday.  

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