Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ASIA-Shares to make cautious gains, Greece woes weigh

WELLINGTON: Asian stocks are set for a cautiously, positive start on Wednesday as global stocks perked up on hopes that debt-stricken Greece will get further support to avoid a debt default.

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

A Reuters report quoting a Greek government official saying that Greek, German and French leaders would hold a conference call on Wednesday helped buoy the euro and underpin optimism in European equity markets.

However, confidence was tempered after the Italian government was forced to pay the highest yield to sell five-year bonds since it joined the euro zone in 1999.

Asian stocks listed on Wall Street rose 0.9 percent while world stocks, as measured by the MSCI world equity index, gained 0.8 percent.

British shares were up 0.9 percent and European ''shares gained 1.1 percent, with banks improving the most on the Greece debt news, although the Italian bond sale kept gains in check.

The euro pushed higher against the dollar but lost ground against the yen amid the persistent euro zone debt worries and analysts said the single currency's downtrend looked intact.

Japanese markets are seen pushing cautiously higher, after the previous day's short-covering gains. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago closed 40 points above the last closing level in Osaka, while support for the benchmark index is seen around 8,500.

Australian stocks are also looking higher with share price index futures sitting at a 12.3 point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index. ' Reuters


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