Monday, March 19, 2012

asian stock markets opened flat march 20 2012

asian stock markets opened flat march 20 2012 ; Asian stock markets were mixed in listless trading Tuesday as the absence of catalysts and a holiday in Japan hobbled demand, while energy plays outperformed amid continued strength in crude oil prices. Investors were slightly discouraged following a below-view reading Monday on the U.S. National Association of Home Builders' housing market index. However, the impact on market sentiment was limited as the housing market index remained at its highest level since June 2007.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed with a slight upside bias on support from the technology stocks after Apple announced plans to initiate a dividend and a share repurchase program. Steel and airlines also are expected to move higher, while gold stocks may see mild selling pressure. The European markets finished slightly lower and the U.S. bourses were slightly higher, and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

Asia has opened flat with a positive bias in trade this morning, as confidence among US homebuilders added to signs of that the country’s economy is strengthening and the Reserve Bank of Australia said it saw less downside risk when it kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged this month.

At 8:46 a.m., the MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index (MXAPJ) gained 0.1% to 445.50, in Hong Kong. The gauge climbed 13% this year through yesterday as positive economic reports from the US boosted the outlook for the region’s exporters.

South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.2%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.3%. Japanese markets are closed for a public holiday.

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