Asian Markets End Higher Amid EU Budget Concerns
By Prasanth Aby Thomas | November 23, 2012 8:50 PM EST
China's Shanghai Composite index ended 0.58 percent or 11.77 points higher to 2027.38, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.69 percent or 148.99 points to 21892.19.
Trading remained rather subdued in the region in the absence of the Japanese stock market, which was shut for a holiday, and overnight cues from the US markets which were closed for the Thanksgiving festival. The Yen's weak run against the Dollar, which pushed the Nikkei up, had been a major boost for trading over previous days.
Improved preliminary manufacturing figures from both the United States and China cheered investors. The positive data added to hopes of the world's largest economies recovering from the recent slowdown.
But market players remained cautious of the eurozone crisis, as fears of the collapse of EU budget negotiations mounted. The budgetary summit in Brussels has extended to a second day and looks set to drag on further as officials struggle to arrive at a consensus on the spending cut levels.
Asian shipments to the EU have slowed in the recent past as the bloc's debt crisis and the subsequent austerity measures hurt consumption. Traders are wary of further spending-cut decisions as the region remains a major export market.
Property stocks ended higher in Hong Kong. China Overseas Land & Investment gained 3 percent while shares of China Resources Land and Wharf Holdings rose 2.34 and 3.60 percent. Hang Lung Properties was up 2.22 percent.
Insurance firms gained in mainland China. China Life Insurance Company gained 2.49 percent. Ping An Insurance Group Company of China ended 1.70 percent higher, while shares of China Pacific Insurance Group Company were up 2.70 percent.
South Korean exporters rose. Hyundai Motor Company was up 3.10 percent while Kia Motor Corp ended 2.87 percent higher. Electronic major Samsung Electronics was up 1.41 percent.
Banks dropped in India. State Bank of India traded 1.03 percent lower, while HDFC and ICICI Bank were down 1.05 and 0.92 percent respectively.
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