Monday, August 29, 2011

ASIA-Shares look to follow Wall St. with modest gains

WELLINGTON: Asian stocks may manage cautious gains on Monday as investors follow Wall St's lead and take heart that the U.S. Federal Reserve is seen to have left the door open for future measures to stimulate the world's biggest economy.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke seemed to disappoint when he did not offer any new measures to boost the U.S. economy, but markets interpreted the speech as leaving the door open for action if needed.

Wall Street's main indexes closed between 1.2 percent and 2.5 percent higher, led by TECHNOLOGY [] stocks, to post their first weekly gain in more than a month.

The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX, Wall Street's "fear gauge," fell 10 percent, but some analysts expect continued volatility.

Trading on Monday may be thinned by the impact of Hurricane Irene, although damage has been less than feared. S&P 500 futures are seen in line with fair value, with Dow Jones industrial average futures up 148 points and Nasdaq 100 futures'' up 53 points.

Asian stocks listed on Wall Street gained 1.69 percent, world stocks, as measured by the MSCI world equity index , rose 0.7 percent.

British shares were flat but European shares dipped 0.73 percent, on disappointment about Bernanke's speech. London will be closed on Monday for a bank holiday.

The dollar fell after the Bernanke speech, with investors back to data watching, notably jobs numbers on Friday. Against the yen the greenback was 1 percent lower.

Japanese markets look set for a flat start with Nikkei futures traded in Chicago 10 points above the last closing level in Osaka.

Australian stocks may open higher with share price index futures at an 18 point premium to the close of the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index.

A large number of Asian markets will be closed for some or all of the week for Eid-al-Fitr. ' Reuters


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