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Asian Markets Overview of March 4
Asian Markets Overview of March 4
Sydney, Mar 4, 2009 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Asian shares broadly fell Tuesday following the declines on Wall Street. But Investors' hopes over the stimulus measures from China and Japan have offset some bleak sentiment led by the US market. Japan's Nikkei 225 Average ended with a modest fall of 0.7% while South Korea's Kospi Composite gained 0.7% and Taiwan's Taiex added 0.2%. Shanghai Composite fell 1.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended 2.3% lower.

On Wednesday, Tokyo and Seoul shares opened lower after the US markets experienced a roller coaster. But Hong Kong shares are seen higher backed by the expectation that Chinese government will expand its stimulus plan.

Asia Economy Watch

It is reported that Chinese banks extended new domestic-currency loans between 800 billion yuan and 1 trillion yuan in February. Large-scale infrastructure projects invested by local governments remained as the focus of new bank lending in the period.

India's exports declined 16% in January to US$12.4 billion from US$14.7 billion in the corresponding period last year. Because of the sharper fall in import in January, the trade deficit has also shrank by around 23%.

South Korea's National Statistical Office figures showed that the nation's inflation rate rose in February, due mainly to higher prices of gasoline and gold. Consumer prices grew 4.1% in February from a year earlier while in January the CPI gained 3.7% from the previous year.

Company News

US based Memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc (NYSE:MU) said it is interested in restructuring Taiwan's DRAM companies and talks with the Taiwan government are underway. Market watchers anticipate that Taiwan's ProMOS (TPO:5387), Powerchip (TPO:5346) and Nanya Technology (TPE:2408) could be the companies involved.

Morgan Stanley on Wednesday cut its earnings forecasts for South Korea's steelmaker POSCO (SEO:005490), by roughly 20 percent for 2009 and 2010, due to falling steel prices.

Toyota (TYO:7203) is in talks with a Japanese government-backed bank on possible lending. But Toyota said no details had been decided.

China Life Insurance Company Ltd (SHA:601628)(HKG:2628) said it will not bid for the American International Assurance Company Ltd. (AIA), the Asian life insurance unit of American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG), as China Life saw that AIA's asset quality, business conditions, staff and the perception of its brand had changed greatly.

The Shanghai International Airport (SHA:600009) reported a 49 percent fall in net profit in 2008, compared to 2007. The tumble was largely due to significant spending on a new terminal and runway.

Honda Motor Co. (TYO:7267) today admitted that it is seeking a loan from the Japanese government to help shore up funds at its U.S. operations, but no further details were not disclosed.


Michelle Liang
Asia Business News Asia Bureau
Tel: +61-2-9247-4344

Related Companies

Toyota Motor Corporation          
Shanghai International Airport Co., Ltd.       
ProMOS Technologies Inc.      
Powerchip Semiconductor Corp.       
Nanya Technology Corporation       
Micron Technology, Inc.       
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.        
China Life Insurance Company Limited       
American International Group, Inc.       

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