Asia markets finish mostly up following Alcoa report
AFPHONG KONG--Asian markets were mostly higher on Wednesday, snapping a recent losing streak as the U.S. corporate earnings season got off to a positive start with aluminum giant Alcoa reporting a large jump in profit.
January 10, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
The dollar and euro also picked up against the yen, providing strong support for the Nikkei index as the weakening Japanese currency spurred investors to buy exporter shares.
Tokyo closed up 0.67 percent, or 70.51 points, at 10,578.57, Sydney ended 0.38 percent higher, adding 17.9 points to 4,708.1 and Hong Kong ended up 0.46 percent, adding 107.28 points to 23,218.47.
Seoul, however, lost 0.31 percent, or 6.13 points, to close at 1,991.81.
And Shanghai ended flat, dipping 0.73 points to 2,275.34 owing to caution ahead of the release of key Chinese economic data later this week.
“There are some concerns that the mediocre performance in the global economy could affect trade and liquidity flows in China,” Southwest Securities analyst Zhang Gang told Dow Jones Newswires.
On Thursday and Friday Beijing will release data on key indicators including inflation and trade, with hopes rising that the world's number two economy will show further signs of emerging from its recent slowdown.
Asian markets, which have seen a sell-off in the past few days, bounced following news Tuesday from Alcoa that it saw a profit of US$242 million in the three months to December, compared with a year-earlier loss of US$191 million.
The company also stayed in the black for the full year, despite aluminum prices falling 12 percent.
“Alcoa's results are generally considered a bellwether for the global economy and the fact that the aluminum giant forecasts higher demand in 2013 appeased investors,” noted Stan Shamu, a strategist at IG Market in Melbourne.
However Wall Street ended in negative territory. The Dow fell 0.41 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.32 percent and the Nasdaq shed 0.23 percent.
With immediate fiscal worries at bay after the United States last week dodged across-the-board tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, dealers were looking for fresh cues to spur buying.