Asian markets holding well as Australia falls; Aussie dollar flying high

<p>Asian markets were stronger today with the Nikkei and Hang Seng both up around 1.3% and 0.4%. In Hong Kong, the government will sell a […]</p>

Asian markets were stronger today with the Nikkei and Hang Seng both up around 1.3% and 0.4%.

In Hong Kong, the government will sell a residential building site today in its first auction since imposing the toughest measures yet to curb home prices in November.

Sun Hung Kai Properties, the world’s biggest developer, rose 0.2%. Henderson Land Development Co, the builder controlled by billionaire Lee Shaue-kee, dropped 1.5%. China Shipping Development Co, the unit of China’s second biggest sea-cargo group said first-quarter net income fell 17% from a year earlier to 382 million Yuan. The stock declined 0.2%.

In Japan, stocks pared gains after S&P cut the country’s sovereign rating outlook on reconstruction cost following last month’s record earthquake and tsunami.

Canon Inc which has lost 13% this year, jumped after Nomura Holdings Inc, said the camera maker’s growth prospects are positive even after last month’s disaster.

In Australia, the local market struggled and stayed in negative territory for most of the day after the long weekend. Australia’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) came out much higher than expected with food prices and soaring petrol prices cited as the main drivers for the numbers.

In the mean time, the Australian dollar continued to rise, touching 1.0850 at one stage during the Asian trading session. The Aussie seems to be unstoppable at this level and may gain further momentum should the Australian Reserve Bank (RBA) starts talking about a possible rate increase in the coming months.


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