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Roundup: Stocks in East Asia
Hang Seng Lower on Profit Taking

Hong Kong share prices closed 0.5 percent lower yesterday on continued profit-taking after a sharp fall on Wall Street, with no fresh leads locally to raise investor interest, dealers said.

The key Hang Seng Index lost 50.93 points to close at 9,944.59 on turnover of HK$5.04 billion (US$647 million).

"The market saw a good run over the last 10 or so days, and we are just seeing some consolidation following on from Wall Street (falls) overnight," said Eric Yuen, deputy head of research with Dao Heng.

"Otherwise, we had a fairly quiet day and trade has been directionless," he said.

Fulbright Securities General Manager Francis Lun said investors were relatively cautious ahead of the futures expiry today, and hence expected trade to remain subdued.

Taiwan Shares Dip 1 Percent

Taiwan shares fell 1 percent yesterday with declines led by bellwether electronics stocks after investors took their lead from losses on Wall Street, dealers said.

The weighted index closed down 44.86 points at 4,633.03 on turnover of NT$57.82 billion (US$1.66 billion).

Expectations of stronger demand from the mainland and the opening of direct charter flights to the mainland inspired continuing interest in steel, cement and transport shares, but this was not enough to push the benchmark index into positive territory.

Decliners led risers 517 to 140, with 90 unchanged.

A President Capital Management analyst said the market continued declining, mainly due to a shift of funds away from electronics. Investors want more convincing evidence of a decisive turnaround in information technology, the analyst said.

Nikkei Rise Slightly

Japanese share prices rose 0.6 percent yesterday on talk of buying by public pension funds and stronger banking stocks, but concerns about government policy capped gains, dealers said.

The Nikkei-225 average of the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished up 51.89 points at 8,875.88. The broader Topix index of all first section issues climbed 5.26 points to 869.26.

Volume was estimated at a relatively thin 677 million shares. Gainers led decliners 874 to 502, with 113 stocks unchanged.

"There's no concrete evidence, but only public pension funds can be continual buyers in this market, so it's quite likely," said Hajime Yagi, senior portfolio manager at Meiji Dresdner Asset Management. "There are also few sellers, so it's very easy to move the market up."

(China Daily November 28, 2002)

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