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Roundup: Stocks in East Asia
Hang Seng Up in Cautious Trade

Hong Kong share prices rose 0.4 higher yesterday in cautious trade, with gains led by telecoms stocks, dealers said. The key Hang Seng index gained 35.45 points to close at 10,100.77 on turnover of HK$4.83 billion (US$621 million).

Dealers said telecoms carrier PCCW was the main feature as it continued to benefit from recent cost-cutting measures, but trade was otherwise very thin in the absence of a positive US lead from Friday.

Francis Lun, general manager of Fulbright Securities, said the Hang Seng Index was trading in a narrow range, with its modest gains largely backed by the rise in PCCW.

"Investors continue to revel in the latest cost cutting measures by PCCW," he said, noting that rotational buying in selected telecoms stocks could also have boosted PCCW yesterday.

Taiwan Stocks Surge Slightly

Taiwan shares closed slightly higher in quiet trade yesterday as investors were reluctant to push the upside further as the market moved closer to the symbolic 4,800 level, dealers said.

The weighted index closed up 15.55 points or 0.3 percent at 4,723.16 on turnover of 58.43 billion Taiwan dollars (US$1.68 billion).

While the electronic sector gained on a string of favourable leads, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co's upgrade of its fourth quarter guidance, the financial sector remained weak amid concerns over the prospect of financial reforms, dealers said.

Seoul Shares Gain 1.9 Percent

South Korean share prices closed 1.9 percent higher yesterday as foreign and institutional investors moved in to buy SK Telecom and other blue-chip stocks, dealers said.

The composite index closed up 12.99 points at 705.86. Volume was 1.47 billion shares worth 2.73 trillion won (US$2.25 billion).

Monday marked the first time the index closed above 700 points since September 19, when it finished at 704.12, dealers said. Sentiment was boosted by increased confidence in the US markets.

"Index-linked blue chips saw foreign and institutional investor support, allowing the composite index to breach 700 points... I think we have room for further gains after that," said Daishin Securities strategist Cho Yong-chan.

Nikkei Closes Higher

Share prices in Japan rose 2.0 percent yesterday, driven by the recent improved sentiment in global markets, but gains were capped by fears about the health of local banks, dealers said.

Exporting companies were in demand after trade data released earlier in the day came in at the upper end of expectations and showed Asian demand was holding up surprisingly strongly, they added.

The Nikkei-225 average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange gained 171.88 points to end the day at 8,944.44, off a high of 8,956.48, while the Topix index of all first section issues rose 15.34 points to 874.39.

Volume was estimated at 905 million shares. Gainers led decliners 1,241 to 169, with 82 stocks unchanged.

"Investors were bullish on export-linked shares as they took heart from the trade surplus data," said Kazunori Jinnai, senior market analyst at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

(China Daily November 26, 2002)

Roundup: Stocks in East Asia
Roundup: Stocks in East Asia
Roundup: Stock in East Asia
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