Date: Thursday 28 Jun 2012
Stocks in Japan moved ahead in quieter than usual trading with most other Asian markets declined ahead of a key European Union summit.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 143 points at 8,874 in Tokyo while the Hang Seng declined 151 points at 19,025 in Hong Kong.
Gains in Japan were helped by a positive performance on Wall Street overnight as investors cheered upbeat housing data. Pending home sales for June grew 5.9% month-on-month, significantly ahead of the 1% expected by economists. Separately, durable goods orders data for the month of May came in better than forecast showing a 1% month-on-month rise, higher than forecasts of a 0.6% gain.
However in Europe, expectations that any real progress will be made on the Eurozone debt crisis remain low. German and French leader are still at odds with how to move forward with the debt crisis.
Despite reservations about today's summit, Japanese exporters moved ahead following encouraging US data. Toyota motored 2.9% ahead while Panasonic firmed 1.8%.
Banks were also sought after with shares of heavyweight Mitsubishi UFJ Financial climbing 2.8% in Tokyo. Oil stocks pushed ahead as crude oil futures rose above $80 a barrel in US trading. Shares of Inpex gained 1.2% while JX Holdings beefed up 1.3%.
In Hong Kong nerves got the better of investors ahead of today's EU summit although some exporters such as Esprit Holdings managed to punch through a 0.8% gain. Cnooc was another gainer, up as much as 2.19% as crude oil futures rose.
Otherwise losses were seen across the board with financials nursing some of the biggest losses. ICBC fell 1.88%, HSBC lost 0.37% while insurer China Life dropped 1.02%.
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