Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Asian Stocks Rebound After Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rate

By Masaki Kondo and Patrick Rial

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose after the U.S. Federal Reserve cut its benchmark interest rate by the most in 23 years to revive growth in the world's biggest economy.

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's largest mining company, jumped after metals prices climbed, sending the S&P/ASX 200 Index to a record gain. Commonwealth Bank of Australia led the nation's banking shares higher. Nintendo Co., maker of the Wii game machine, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. may climb.

Asian stocks tumbled yesterday, sending the region's benchmark to its biggest drop since April 1990, on mounting concern the global economy is slowing. A rout in shares globally wiped out as much as $7.3 trillion in market value this year. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 1.1 percent in the U.S. Futures had pointed to a 5.3 percent drop in Asian trading yesterday.

``The market will rebound as investors are expecting the Fed to cut rates further,'' Hiroichi Nishi, an equities manager at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc., said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ``It has become clear Japanese stocks are cheap.''

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 1 percent to 133.45 as of 8:25 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index surged 6.4 percent to 5,516.90.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average futures expiring in March last traded at 12,990 in Chicago, up from the close of 12,510 in Osaka and 12,445 in Singapore yesterday.

U.S.-trade receipts of Nintendo, which gets about 37 percent of its sales from the Americas, jumped 4.2 percent yesterday from the closing share price in Tokyo. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. rose 6.3 percent.

Semiconductor Stocks

Texas Instruments Inc., the biggest maker of mobile-phone chips, said profit rose 13 percent. The Dallas-based company sees no signs that a U.S. economic slump is affecting demand for chips, Chief Financial Officer Kevin March said yesterday.

Taiwan Semiconductor, the world's biggest supplier of made- to-order chips, climbed 4.7.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Japan's biggest drugmaker, may climb after Nikko Citigroup raised its rating to ``buy'' from ``hold.'' Sharp Corp., Japan's largest liquid-crystal display maker, may gain after HSBC Holdings Plc upgraded its rating to ``overweight'' from ``neutral.''

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