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Hong Kong stocks up 0.15%; China shares rise

Jul 192013

Hong Kong stocks up 0.15%; China shares riseHONG KONG: Hong Kong shares rose 0.15 percent in the morning session Friday following another strong Wall Street cue after the Dow ended at a record high.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 32.17 points to 21,377.39 by the break on turnover of HK$24.90 billion (US$3.21 billion).

Chinese shares were up 0.17 per cent on bargain hunting following recent falls, dealers said.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 3.43 points to 2,026.83.

Asian markets mostly rise, Europe fears cap gains

Aug 092012

HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly edged up early Thursday with Chinese inflation data lifting hopes for fresh easing measures by Beijing, but gains were limited as weak European data dented recent optimism.

Wall Street and European traders were unable to provide a strong lead after a three-day rally on central bank stimulus hopes lost momentum, although the euro managed to eke out some small gains Thursday.

Tokyo was up 0.43 percent by the break, Hong Kong climbed 0.70 percent, Seoul gained 1.24 percent and Sydney was 0.22 percent higher, but Shanghai eased 0.14 percent.

China said Thursday that its consumer price index rose 1.8 percent year on year in July, in line with forecasts but down from 2.2 percent in June and its slowest pace since January 2010.

The figures indicate Beijing — which has cut interest rates twice this year and lowered the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve — has more room to loosen monetary policy to kickstart the slowing economy.

But while Hong Kong shares advanced after the news Shanghai dealers remained wary as they await policy action from the country’s leaders.

US and European markets, which along with Asia have been rising this week on expectations of fresh sovereign bond-buying by the European Central Bank and other stimulus from the US Federal Reserve, took a breather Wednesday following poor economic news.

In Europe the Bank of England lowered its forecast for growth in the economy of non-euro member Britain to near zero this year, while the central bank of eurozone heavyweight France warned the country was likely to enter recession.

And in Germany, the eurozone’s economic anchor, exports fell 1.5 percent in June, while imports — a barometer of domestic demand — fell 2.9 percent. Adding to dealers’ fears factory orders fell by a bigger-than-expected 1.7 percent in June and industrial output declined 0.9 percent.

Standard & Poor’s also cut Greece’s debt rating outlook to negative, saying a worsening economy and political challenges could force another downgrade as the country nervously awaits the release of a new tranche of rescue money.

On Wall Street the Dow and S&P 500 closed with marginal gains, while the Nasdaq eased 0.15 percent.

In Hong Kong Standard Chartered bank rose 3.39 percent Thursday morning after its chief executive hit back at US claims it had hidden $250 billion in transactions with Iranian banks, breaking Washington sanctions.

The lender had slumped more than 15 percent in the previous two sessions following the allegations. CEO Peter Sands on Wednesday said of the claims: “There are a lot of matters that we don’t recognise, we don’t understand and are factually inaccurate.”

On currency markets the euro bought $1.2381 and 97.24 yen in morning trade, compared with $1.2363 and 96.99 yen in New York late Wednesday.

The dollar was quoted at 78.55 yen against against 78.45 yen.

Oil prices were higher. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in September, gained 22 cents to $93.57 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for September added seven cents to $112.21.

Gold was at $1,617.20 at 0300 GMT, from $1,607.80 on Wednesday.

India ‘not worried’ about ENR curb

Jul 142009

welcome-to-the-unofficial-2004-g8India is not unduly worried over the decision of the G-8 group of industrialised nations to impose curbs on full nuclear cooperation on certain countries and feels it shouldn’t affect any of the existing agreements it has on civil nuclear cooperation.

New Delhi feels that G-8 attempts to restrict enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) go back to 2004 and were not specifically directed at India. Hence, the decision is not new.

At last week’s G-8 summit in Italy, the US persuaded world’s richest nations to ban the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing items to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty including India.

The nuclear issue is likely to figure during talks Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here on a two-day visit, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday.

New Delhi also holds that the G-8 view does not have the approval of the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group which had extended last year a clean waiver to India without conditions to do nuclear commerce.

As far as India is concerned, the NSG waiver was an unanimous decision to which the G-8 countries were a party and that is the agreement that it intends to go by.

India feels that the NSG will have to get back to it if the grouping feels the need to look for any changes.

New Delhi looks the G-8 view as individual decision by certain countries. The practical effect on India it is argued, is so far zero since New Delhi does not need enrichment and reprocessing technologies.

Even so, New Delhi would not like to see any dilution of India’s eligibility for full civil nuclear cooperation.

India would like to study the G-8 document in detail.

Informed sources pointed out that the G-8 decision was for all ENR transfers and not directed only against India. New Delhi shares the G-8 concern to the extent that everyone should not have free access to sensitive technologies.

If this is easily available all over the world it could spell danger if it gets into wrong hands.

India feels that the G-8 decision does not affect the sale of nuclear reactors and fuel or hamper in any way its right to reprocess spent fuel on the basis of bilateral agreements with individual countries.
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