KL, Asian markets mostly up at midday

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian markets were mostly up at midday Monday with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advancing strongly to 10-month high, following positive news on indications of recovery and better outlook of companies earnings in US and China.

Almost half of US companies surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) projected sales have already bottomed and their outlook on hiring is starting to improve, according to a Bloomberg report.

The NABE survey’s net employment index improved to minus 10 from minus 17 in the April, reflecting the brighter outlook on hiring.

Chairman of NABE and economist of IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts Sara Johnson said the US recession was abating, but the NABE survey provided “few signs of an immediate recovery”.

The report underscores recent figures that show housing and manufacturing are stabilising even as unemployment mounts, said the Bloomberg report.

Meanwhile, the brokerage unit of China’s biggest investment company Citic Securities Co raised its earnings growth estimates for the natin’s listed companies in 2009 as the world’s third-largest economy recovers.

Analysts of Citic Securities wrote in a report Monday that the brokerage expects companies’ full-year profit to increase 14% at the 1,606 companies listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, compared with an earlier 9% estimate.

At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI climbed 15.62 points or 1.39% to end first session at 1,136.52. Singapore’s Straits Times Index advanced 0.70% to 2,448.01.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.55% to 9,395.32 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2.38% to 19,252.64.

Shanghai’s A share index rose 1.54% to 3,238.74 and Seoul’s Kospi Index added 2.21% to 1,471.97.

At midday, Bursa Malaysia saw gainers led decliners with 358 counters up, 156 down while 189 others were traded unchanged. There were 465.44 million shares done at a total value of RM666.56 million.

Among gainers, Tenaga advanced 30 sen to RM8.50, United Malacca rose 25 sen to RM7.80, PPB Group, Public Bank-foreign, Genting and S P Setia gained 20 sen each to RM12.50, RM10.20, RM5.95 and RM4.28 respectively, and BCHB added 15 sen to RM10.10.

KNM was among the top gainers, rose 1.5 sen to 84 sen, Axiata was up 11 sen to RM2.97, Time added 1.5 sen to 29 sen while Kinsteel and MRCB were 5 sen higher at 94.5 sen and RM1.37 respectively.

Among losers, Ya Horng lost 18 sen to RM70 sen while Pacificmas and Milux Corp were down 8 sen each to RM3.02 and RM1.50.

Nymex crude oil was 48 cents higher at US$64.04 per barrel.

Crude palm oil third-month futures gained RM31 to RM2,154 per tonne.

The ringgit was quoted at 3.552 to the US dollar.  TENAGA :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  UMCCA :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  PPB :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  PBBANK :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  GENM :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  COMMERZ :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  KNM :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  AXIATA :  [Stock Watch]  [News]  YAHORNG :  [Stock Watch]  [News]

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