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Roundup: Stocks in East Asia
Hang Seng Drops in Lean Trade

Hong Kong share prices dropped 0.7 percent yesterday in lean trading, mirroring weaknesses around the region and on Wall Street at the end of last week, dealers said.

The key Hang Seng index lost 71.97 points to close at 9,656.46, on turnover of HK$4.09 billion (US$621 million).

Peter Lai, associate director at OCBC Securities, said traders' confidence was damaged by the weak performance of Wall Street on Friday.

"The market is really quiet," he said, adding he expects rangebound trade to continue in the near term.

"But support in the region of 9,500-9,600 points should be strong," he said.

Taiwan Shares Dip Marginally

Taiwan shares closed marginally lower in quiet trading yesterday after late bargain-hunting offset earlier losses triggered by weaknesses on Wall Street, dealers said.

The weighted price index closed down 6.09 points or 0.1 percent at 4,582.05, off a low of 4,537.41 on turnover of NT$47.84 billion (US$1.38 billion).

Dealers said some investors began hunting for bargains with the benchmark index having fallen for five sessions in a row, but the late buying was not strong enough to push the index back to positive territory.

Advancers led decliners 313 to 311 with 128 stocks unchanged.

A total of 32 stocks closed limit-up and 13 limit down.

Thai Market Closes Lower

The Thai stock market eased 0.6 percent yesterday, with bargain hunting in the property sector overweighed by negative sentiment as investors turned bearish amid concerns over a possible US-Iraq war.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) composite index fell 2.27 points to 353.93 while the SET 50 index was down 0.19 points to 22.55 SICCO Securities research manager Saravut Techochvalit said the local market closed off its lows, as investors sought bargains in the property sector after their recent losses.

Volume was thin as most investors remained sidelined amid concerns over a possible US-Iraq war, Saravut said.

Seoul Shares Plunge 2.2 Percent

South Korean share prices closed 2.2 percent lower yesterday with confidence undermined by a US preliminary trade ruling against South Korean chip makers and a fall on Wall Street, dealers said. The composite index fell 15.71 points to 692.42.

"The psychologically important 700-point support level collapsed today," Woori Securities analyst Kim Suk-seang said.

Nikkei Down for the Ninth Day

Japanese share prices fell 0.8 percent yesterday extending their losing streak to nine straight trading days, the longest unbroken decline since 1991, as exporters were hit by the strong yen and the broader market by losses on Wall Street, dealers said.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's Nikkei-225 average lost 65.13 points to end the session at 8,450.94, while the Topix index of all first section issues closed down 7.95 points at 827.82.

Volume was estimated at 663 million shares. Decliners led gainers 1,124 to 261, with 111 stocks unchanged.

(China Daily December 17, 2002)

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