Monday, March 26, 2012

asian stock markets march 27 2012

asian stock markets march 27 2012 : Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, bolstered by comments made by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said loose monetary policies may be needed to fuel more demand and improve the U.S. labor market.

During Asian trading on Tuesday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 1.57%, Australia's S&P/ASX200 was up 0.82%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index was up 1.67%.

In the U.S., Fed Chairman Bernanke suggested loose monetary policies will need to stay in place in order to fuel consumer and business demand in a way to make lasting improvements to the labor market.

While unemployment rates are lowering, businesses are hiring mainly to replace positions made vacant during recession-time layoffs, while they aren't ramping up to expand and make new hires.

"Further significant improvements in the unemployment rate will likely require a more-rapid expansion of production and demand from consumers and businesses, a process that can be supported by continued accommodative policies," Bernanke told the National Association for Business Economics Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., according to a copy of his speech.

The markets interpreted Bernanke's comments to mean a third round of quantitative easing may be needed to jolt the economy.

The Fed has already rolled out two rounds of quantitative easing since the downturn, buying trillions of dollars in mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds from banks.

The purpose of such a move injects liquidity into the system to promote price stability and more hiring, and a lot of that liquidity ends up in stock markets.

Asian stocks further rallied on news that the German Ifo institute said its German business climate index rose to 109.8 in March from a revised 109.7 in February, better than expected and fueling optimism that Europe, a key Asian export market, may be seeing better days.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she may be willing to bolster a financial firewall program to ringfence the debt crisis, which further fueled appetite for risk in Asia.

In Hong Kong, top gainers included Sino Land, up 4.36%, New World Development, up 4.32%, and CHALCO, up 3.80%.

In Australia, the top gainers included PanAust, up 5.67%, Boart Longyear, up 4.88%, and Sundance Resources, up 4.76%.

European stock futures indicated a mixed opening.

France's CAC 40 futures pointed to a loss of 0.03%, while Germany's DAX 30 futures signaled a gain of 0.15%. Meanwhile, in the U.K., the FTSE 100 futures indicated a gain of 0.02%.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.09% while the S&P 500 futures were up 0.07%.

Look to U.S. economic news to continue driving global markets.

Later Tuesday, Fed Chairman Bernanke is due to appear in public again, as is Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher.

More housing data is due out, with the latest S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index scheduled for release, while markets will also keep a sharp eye on the U.S. Conference Board's consumer confidence index.

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