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Global manufacturing data helps Asia markets rebound

23 august 2013, 12:57
Asian markets firmed on Friday as a slew of upbeat manufacturing data from around the globe overshadowed concerns about the US Federal Reserve's plans for its stimulus programme, AFP reports.

The positive lead also provided a much-needed boost for emerging economies, which have suffered a torrid week as dealers bet on an end to the Fed's monetary easing that has fuelled an investment splurge in the region.

Tokyo jumped 2.49 percent thanks to a rally in the dollar against the yen, while Hong Kong added 0.70 percent, Sydney climbed 1.28 percent, Seoul was 0.86 percent higher and Shanghai added 0.61 percent.

Jakarta rallied 1.40 percent while Kuala Lumpur climbed 0.32 percent and Manila, which slumped almost six percent Thursday, was up 0.52 percent.

Dealers were given a positive lead from markets in Europe and the United States, which soared on strong data that illustrated a pick-up in economic fortunes.

The preliminary composite purchasing managers index of business activity (PMI) for the eurozone jumped to a 26-month high of 51.7 points for August from 50.5 in July. Anything above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 points to contraction.

And in the United States the flash PMI came in at 53.9, up from a final July reading of 53.7.

The data followed a similar upturn in China, where HSBC said its PMI reading hit a four-month high 50.1, which added to recent figures suggesting a slowdown in the Asian economic giant is coming to an end.

On Wall Street the Dow rose 0.44 percent, the S&P 500 added 0.86 percent and the the Nasdaq jumped 1.08 percent.

Those rises came despite an unexplained glitch that shut down trading on the Nasdaq for about three hours, which interrupted business on other markets.

Thursday's figures came as some relief to global traders in a week that has seen heavy selling -- particularly in emerging nations -- in expectation the Fed's bond-buying scheme known as quantitative easing (QE) will soon come to an end,

Jakarta fell almost nine percent in the four days ending Thursday, while Bangkok was down 6.5 percent over the same period. Manila slid six percent on Thursday, its only trading day so far.

In forex trade the upbeat sentiment sent the dollar rising to 99.04 yen in early trade, from 98.68 yen late in New York and 98.21 yen in Tokyo Thursday. The euro bought $1.3354 and 132.28 yen compared with $1.3354 and 131.80 yen.

Dealers also took a breather from selling emerging market currencies, with the Indian rupee at 64.63 to the dollar, well up from the record low 65.56 it touched on Thursday, Indonesia's rupiah was at 10,800 from 10,945. Thailand's baht edged up to 31.89 from 32.01.

However, traders remain jittery after the release Wednesday of minutes from the Fed's July meeting was unable to provide clarity on when it may begin to wind down QE.

On oil markets New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in October, was up four cents at $105.07 a barrel in morning trade.

Brent North Sea crude for October delivery gained 10 cents at $110.00.

Gold fetched $1,375.71 at 0245 GMT from $1,366.65 late Thursday.

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