The Australian market was stronger this morning after European Union finance ministers agreed to create emergency measures totalling more than 500 billion euro to help eurozone countries facing financing trouble. The fund involves 440 billion euro from eurozone governments and another 60 billion euro of loan funds coming from the European Commission.
Asian markets mostly opened lower today despite Wall Street gained for its sixth straight day on Thursday. Australian shares fell slightly as the market is taking a breather after rallies in the past several days. Yesterday Asian shares were encouraged by China's first quarter economic growth. China's National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday that its economy surged by 11.9 per cent in the March quarter, up from 10.7 per cent in the final three months of 2009. Japan's Nikkei 225 Average rose 0.6 per cent and South Korea's Kospi was up 0.5 per cent. Hong Kong and Australia markets posted small gains. China's Shanghai Composite ended flat.
Wall Street Tuesday posted modest gains following the report on the upbeat consumer confidence and home prices data. Technology stocks were also supported by news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was developing a new iPhone. Yesterday Asian markets closed mostly higher. This week investors are also looking to the US nonfarm payroll data and expecting an improving labour market. Japanese stocks broadly gained led by steel makers. Nikkei rose 1 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.7 per cent while China's Shanghai Composite added 0.2 per cent. South Korea's Kospi increased 0.5 per cent.
Asian markets mostly dropped on Wednesday. Resources shares across the region were hit by falling metals prices. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.5 per cent, South Korea's Kospi shed 1.0 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 0.8 per cent. The markets also weighed down by U.S. consumer confidence and German business sentiment. But China's Shanghai Composite rebounded 1.3 per cent as monetary tightening worries eased.
Wall Street shares on Thursday shrugged off the news of disappointing economic data and rebounded from early loss. US retail sales fell unexpectedly by 0.3 per cent in December, a poor sign for the holiday shopping season. The market rise was led by technology shares as investors were expecting strong numbers from Intel.
Wall Street rose overnight as investors were expecting improvements in fourth-quarter earnings results. US industrial shares lifted the Dow and the S&P 500 to new 15-month highs after the upbeat Chinese economic data. The US dollar dropped 0.5 percent against a basket of currencies.
Overnight US shares ended with modest gains helped by better-than-expected retail sales data and upbeat broker comments. But investors were still cautious ahead of the release of the non-farm payrolls data. Most Asian stocks declined Thursday. China's Shanghai Composite lost 1.9 per cent over fears of possible rates rise while Chinese central bank is tightening liquidity in the interbank money markets.
Asian shares delivered a positive opening this morning. The Asian bourses were higher in thin trade on the last day of 2009 as commodity prices rose and China pledged to maintain policies that helped pull the world economy out of recession. For the year, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 52%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 31% in 2009 and Singapore was up 65 percent over the year. But Wall Street tumbled on the final trading day in 2009. Dow index remains down 26 per cent from its 2007 highs.
Wall Street stocks tumbled overnight on a second downgrade of Greece's sovereign debt in a month and Citigroup's capital raising. The US dollar rebounded as investors cut riskier assets. The US dollar index, which measures its performance against a basket of major currencies, rose to its highest level in more than three months.
Asian stock markets were widely up Wednesday after Wall Street climbed to a new high of the year overnight. Gold prices hit a record high for a second day today.