8 Dec 2008

Asian stocks soar on back of Wall St rally

10:42 pm on 8 December 2008

Japanese shares soared on Monday after Wall Street rallied on hopes of fresh action by the United States government to tackle the deepening recession.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 3% on Friday despite a dismal jobs report which showed the US economy lost 533,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate jumped to 6.7%.

But analysts cautioned that the rebound could fizzle out later in the week if there is more bad news on the global economy.

The benchmark Nikkei-225 index closed up 411.54 points, or 5.20%, at 8,329.05. The broader Topix index of all first section issues rose 26.06 points, or 3.32%, to 812.08.

Dealers took their cue from Wall Street where stocks rebounded on Friday as news that the US lost more than half a million jobs in November sparked hopes of new steps by the American government to revive the economy.

Hong Kong stocks jumped 8.7% to a seven-week high as Chinese leaders meeting in Beijing raised hopes they would hash out more measures to bolster China's economy.

The blue chip Hang Seng index rose 1198.8 points to 15044.9 as financials, property and shipping stocks rallied. It was the highest close since the index hit 15323 on 20 October.

In Australia, the share market closed about 4% higher, boosted by gains in the financial and resources sector and the rally on Wall Street on Friday.

At the 1615 AEDT close on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index had gained 141.7 points, or 4.06%, to 3,631.6, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 126.6 points, or 3.69%, at 3,553.8.

NZ market lower

New Zealand's maket did not follow the trend, despite rising more than 1% earlier on Monday.

The NZX 50 fell 7 points to close at 2700 on modest turnover of $44 million.

Top stocks were lower, with Contact Energy down 14 cents to $6.71 and Fletcher Building falling 24c to $5.38. Telecom was unchanged at $2.32

However, Fisher & Paykel Appliances rose 4c to $1.39, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare was up 1c to $3.05.