Monday, September 19, 2011

ASIA-Shares set for positive start, Euro debt fears linger

WELLINGTON: Asian stocks are set for a positive start on Monday after global stocks notched up solid gains last week although investors will proceed with caution because of lingering fears Greece is still at risk of defaulting its debt.

Global equities rose for a fourth straight day on Friday, but the euro slid as hope Europe was finally getting a grip on the region's debt crisis was tempered by fears about Greece.

The main Wall Street indexes rose between 0.4 percent and 1.5 percent on Friday as investors jumped into the market looking for bargains among stocks battered over the past few weeks.

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

British shares closed higher on Friday, extending its winning run to a fourth day on hopes euro zone finance ministers would firm up their response to the region's debt crisis over the weekend.

However, the meeting did not deliver anything new and the euro headed lower in early Asia-Pacific trade on Monday as euro debt fears resurfaced.

Investors are now looking to the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting this week to see if it will unveil any new measures to support the flagging U.S. economy.

Japanese markets, which rose more than 2 percent on Friday, are closed Monday for a national holiday. Nikkei futures in Chicago last traded 35 points below the last closing level in Osaka.

Australian stocks are also looking firmer on Monday with share price index futures up 0.2 percent to 4,163, a 13.6-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close on Friday. ' Reuters




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