Technology and consumer stocks push Hong Kong index higher; Australian market flat

<p>Asian markets were stronger today with both the Hang Seng and Nikkei up around 0.8%. In Hong Kong almost all sectors were trading stronger with […]</p>

Asian markets were stronger today with both the Hang Seng and Nikkei up around 0.8%.

In Hong Kong almost all sectors were trading stronger with Technology and Consumer Goods leading the gainers, both up around 2%. HSBC, Asia’s largest bank, gained ahead of its earnings report today. It was up 0.4%.

Chinese developers were down on concerns the government will take more steps to curb property prices. China Resources Land a State-controlled developer, fell 1.4% after the country’s premier Wen Jiabao said the government will continue to curb speculative investments in the property market.

In Japan, Mizuho Securities jumped 12.5% on a report its parent company may increase its stake. CSK Corp was down 4.15% and NEC Corp was down 3%.

In Australia, the local share market opened lower and stayed in negative territory for most of the day in what’s generally been a listless day of trading.

With the reporting season over, there’s not much energy in the market today. The market feels very flat today.

Most of the focus now will shift to external issues including the rising oil price and the escalation of violence in Libya.

At the moment, it’s only the Energy sector which is providing some support to the local market. Most of the other sectors are pulling it down. The Energy sector is being buoyed by the rise in oil prices, so we are seeing energy stocks – including Santos and Woodside Petroleum – trading higher today.

We saw investors buying Fortescue Metals (FMG) shares at the open this morning. FMG, which went into trading halt last Friday, reported the discovery of an estimated 1 billion tonnes of high grade iron ore, which pushed the share price as high as 4 per cent at one stage today.

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