The slide in stocks across the globe was put to a halt in Asian trading as the bargain hunters came out in force to snap up nicely priced shares. Early Asian trading this morning saw Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index increase by 1.01%, Australia’s S&P/ASX200 gained 0.68%, whilst Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index was up 1.03% at time of writing (4.38am GMT). Fueling the appetite for risk was hope that Europe will find a way to keep Greece in the Eurozone after Germany and France declared they would do everything necessary to keep Greece in the single currency zone. Also providing hope was Japan showing signs of possibly weakening the Yen to boost exports and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressing the need to stay with a “proactive fiscal policy and a prudent monetary policy”.
The bargain hunters ignored Japan’s All Industries Activity Index, which fell 0.3% in March from February, a fall that was worse than market expectations, as the Yen posted a moderate decline against the USD – down 0.09%, trading at 79.37. The bottom feeders did however, stay away from the Euro, despite encouraging talk from the G8 meeting at the weekend. The EUR/USD was down 0.26%, trading at 1.2785 as the USD made gains against most major currencies – up 0.13% in Cable and up 0.24% against the Swiss Franc. The US Dollar index was up 0.17%, valuing the USD at 81.23 against a basket of 6 weight currencies.
Also grabbing the eye in Asian trading was shares in recently launched Facebook closing 11% down on its launch price fueling analyst talk that the shares were overpriced and concerns that the newly listed company will be able to live up to expectations.
Today, investors should spend the morning seeing what comes from the UK as a raft of economic data is released from 9.30am GMT onwards affecting the GBP, whilst later in the afternoon, eyes should be on the US as data released there includes the key indicator existing home sales 3pm GMT.
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