The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds |

Business / Technology

Our network sites | Advanced

Originally published Monday, February 15, 2010 at 4:05 AM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Asian markets higher in holiday-thinned trade

Asian stocks were modestly higher Tuesday in holiday-thinned trade as investors awaited another top level finance meeting on Greece's debt crisis. European shares jumped.

The Associated Press


Asian stocks were modestly higher Tuesday in holiday-thinned trade as investors awaited another top level finance meeting on Greece's debt crisis. European shares jumped.

Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia were closed for Lunar New Year holidays. Wall Street was closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

The euro, battered to a nine-month low last week as Greece's problems undermined confidence in the common currency, gained against the dollar. Oil prices rose above $75 a barrel.

Corporate earnings provided a positive glimmer Tuesday with Westpac, one of Australia's largest banks, reporting that first quarter earnings grew by a third as bad loans dropped and the economy bounced back from the global financial meltdown.

But concerns about the fallout from Greece's debt crunch remained close to the surface.

The 16 nations that use the euro have pledged to help Greece if it can't repay its debts - but want Greece to make big spending cuts first.

On Tuesday, the finance ministers of the full 27-nation European Union meet and Greece is expected to be top of the agenda. Investors fear a Greek default could spark a wider European debt crisis, threatening governments ability to borrow money.

As trading got underway in Europe, benchmarks in Britain, France and Germany were up 1 percent or more. Stock futures pointed to gains Tuesday on Wall Street. S&P futures gained 6.5 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,085.60.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average rose 20.95 points, or 0.2 percent, to 10,034.25 and South Korea's Kospi gained 7.39, or 0.5 percent, to 1,601.05.

Australia's benchmark climbed 0.5 percent and India's Sensex added 0.9 percent. Elsewhere, Indonesia's market jumped 0.8 percent and New Zealand's stock index advanced 0.9 percent.

In Europe on Monday, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares closed up 25.02, or 0.5 percent, at 5,167.47 while Germany's DAX rose 10.71, or 0.2 percent, at 5,511.10. The CAC-40 in France was 11.27, or 0.3 percent, higher at 3,610.34.

Oil prices rose above $75 a barrel in Asia as investors looked for signs of improving global crude demand amid light holiday trading.

Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 95 cents at $75.09 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. With markets closed Monday in the U.S., the contract last settled on Friday, falling $1.15 to $74.13.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 89.85 yen from 90 yen. The euro gained to $1.3673 from $1.3597.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Business & Technology

UPDATE - 09:46 AM
Exxon Mobil wins ruling in Alaska oil spill case

UPDATE - 09:32 AM
Bank stocks push indexes higher; oil prices dip

UPDATE - 08:04 AM
Ford CEO Mulally gets $56.5M in stock award

UPDATE - 07:54 AM
Underwater mortgages rise as home prices fall

NEW - 09:43 AM
Warner Bros. to offer movie rentals on Facebook

More Business & Technology headlines...

No comments have been posted to this article.


Get home delivery today!



AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech