Investors more positive on economic growth; Billabong shares up

<p>Asian markets were stronger today with the Hang Seng Index up 1% and the Nikkei 225 up 0.05%. The Japanese stock market rose as investor […]</p>

Asian markets were stronger today with the Hang Seng Index up 1% and the Nikkei 225 up 0.05%. The Japanese stock market rose as investor sentiment grew bullish on the economic outlook. Sharp Corp, Japan’s largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, climbed 0.8%. Nomura Holdings rose 0.7% moving the stock to a 3-day winning streak.

In Hong Kong all sectors were up today with Technology leading the charge. The Hang Seng is headed for its biggest weekly gain in more than three months. Ping Insurance Company of China rose 3.5% after announcing its accumulated written premiums for the month of January. HSBC Holdings advanced 0.9% extending yesterday’s gains.

In Australia, the local share market recovered from its wobbly start this morning to push above the 5,000 mark.

We saw mixed results (from companies reporting today) and mixed reactions from investors who seem to be trading on the news.

Beachwear manufacturer Billabong reported a drop in profit, but the share price was trading up 6 per cent today on positive outlook for future sales. On the other hand, ANZ Bank reported a healthy profit but the share price was sold down.

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