Asian Stocks on High in Almost 2 Months

Channels Television  
Updated January 20, 2012

Japan’s Nikkei average closed at a five-week high today on renewed expectations that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will bolster its funds to help fight the European sovereign debt crisis.

Asian Stocks on High in Almost 2 Months

The IMF is seeking to more than double its war chest by raising $600 billion in new resources to help countries deal with the fallout from the euro zone debt crisis.

But the United States and other countries are balking, saying Europe must put up more of its own money.

Strong U.S. manufacturing reports also spurred buying after data showed factory output grew at its fastest pace in a year, putting the world’s largest economy on firmer footing.

At the close of trade on Thursday, the Nikkei was up 1 percent at 8,639.68, rising above its 75-day moving average near 8,568.

Seoul shares also touched a five-week peak on Thursday, as hopes that the International Monetary Fund would beef up its lending capacity soothed euro zone worries.

Gains were led by tech heavyweights, with Samsung Electronics Co rallying 4.08 percent and Hynix Semiconductor Inc soaring 4.16 percent.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed 1.19 percent higher at 1,914.97 points.

According to Reuters, the Hong Kong shares rose to a two-month high on Thursday led by financials, and in particular insurers, as well as property developers on short-covering and buying by long-only funds in anticipation of a further rally in Chinese markets.

The Hang Seng Index ended up 1.3 percent at 19,942.95 in relatively strong volume.