Nikkei edges down on pause in weak yen trend; mining shares outperform
TOKYO, March 30 Japan's Nikkei share average edged down on Thursday morning pressured by a pause in the weak yen trend, while mining shares firmed on gains in oil prices.
* BSE rises 0.7 pct; NSE rises 0.7 pct * Biggest daily gain since Jan. 25 * Caution ahead of budget on Feb. 28 By Manoj Dharra MUMBAI, Feb 19 Indian shares posted their biggest gains of the month on Tuesday, as investors picked up software services exporters such as Infosys that have recently under-performed and defensive shares such as Hindustan Unilever. Shares have recovered after hitting their yearly lows on Friday, although the mood remains largely cautious ahead of the 2013/14 budget, to be unveiled on Feb. 28. Traders say a plan that seeks to narrow the country's fiscal and current account deficits would be key in reviving share markets that have largely fizzled out this month. "Some game-changing reforms in area of deficit management is expected from budget," said Deven Choksey, MD, KR Choksey Securities, calling gains on Tuesday more liquidity-driven than a genuine rally. The BSE index rose 0.69 percent, or 134.64 points to end at 19,635.72, marking its biggest daily percentage gain since Jan. 25, and a recovery after ending Friday at its lowest close of the year. The 50-share NSE index rose 0.70 percent, or 41.50 points, to 5,939.70, also posting its biggest daily gain since Jan. 25. Shares of software services exporters were among the day's leading gainers on continued hopes earnings will improve in the fiscal year starting in April on the back of an improving global economy. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd rose 1.28 percent, after falling 2.1 percent since hitting a record high on Feb. 14. Infosys Ltd shares rose 1.45 percent after falling 1.1 percent over the previous two sessions compared with a flat performance in the NSE index. Defensives shares that have under-performed markets this year also gained. Hindustan Unilever Ltd gained 1.4 percent after falling 10.4 percent this year as of Monday's close, while Cipla Ltd rose 2.05 percent after falling 8.32 percent this year. Among other gainers, ACC Ltd rose 3 percent while Ambuja Cements Ltd added 1.36 percent after shareholders at each of the cement makers separately approved paying technology fees to controlling stakeholder Holcim Ltd of 1 percent of net annual sales. The approvals removed an uncertainty that had been weighing on the Indian companies, as some investors had feared a protracted process over a decision that had been unpopular with shareholders. Shares in DLF Ltd rose 3.5 percent, gaining for a second session on rising hopes about a recovery in earnings and lower net debt for the year after a company meeting with analysts last week. Hotel Leelaventure Ltd shares surged 10 percent, after the company sold its IT park building in the city of Chennai for 1.7 billion rupees ($31.38 million) to Reliance Industries, which will help the hotel operator reduce debt. Shares in Kingfisher Airlines rose by the daily limit of 5 percent after controlling stakeholder United Breweries Holdings Ltd raised the amount it can lend to the ailing carrier. However, among decliners, Bharti Airtel Ltd shares fell 2 percent, while Idea Cellular Ltd ended down 0.23 percent on fears of rising competition after wireless broadband airwave holders were allowed to provide voice services after paying an additional fee. For additional stocks on the move double click FACTORS TO WATCH * Euro, stocks rise after German ZEW survey * Brent steady above $117 on dim EU growth prospects * Shares edge higher, euro flat ahead of German data * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs ASIA-PACIFIC STOCK MARKETS: Pan-Asia........ Japan....... S.Korea... S.E. Asia....... Hong Kong... Taiwan.... Australia/NZ.... India....... China..... OTHER MARKETS: Wall Street .... Gold ....... Currency.. Eurostocks..... Oil ........ JP bonds... ADR Report.... LME metals. US bonds.. ocks News US.. Stocks News Europe DIARIES & DATA: Indian Data Watch Asia earnings diary U.S. earnings diary European diary Indian diary Wall Street Week Ahead Eurostocks Week Ahead TOP NEWS: For top Asian company news, double click on: U.S. company news European company news Forex news Global Economy news Technology news Telecoms news Media news Banking news Politics/General Asia Macro data <ECONASIA (Editing by Sunil Nair)
March 30 The following table shows rates for Asian currencies against the dollar at 0221 GMT. CURRENCIES VS U.S. DOLLAR Change on the day at 0221 GMT Currency Latest bid Previous Pct Move day Japan yen 111.37 111.05 -0.29 Sing dlr 1.3958 1.3940 -0.13 Taiwan dlr 30.313 30.285 -0.09 Korean won
March 30 Gold prices held steady on Thursday, supported by uncertainties on the impact of Britain's departure from the European Union, U.S. policy under President Donald Trump and French elections, but at the same time capped by a stronger dollar. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,251.22 per ounce, as of 0059 GMT. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2 percent to $1,250.9. * The dollar index was up 0.1 percent at 100.07.