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Markets & Stocks
Tokyo rises on order growth
March 10, 2000: 6:00 a.m. ET

Nikkei gains half a percent on cyclical buying; HK hoisted by Hutchison
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LONDON (CNNfn) - Tokyo's Nikkei index posted a modest gain Friday after upbeat economic data spurred demand for so-called cyclical stocks in industry and mining, outweighing a slump in Sony Corp. Hong Kong shares ended up more than 1 percent, as a sharp gain for the Hutchison Whampoa conglomerate overcame weakness in Internet issues.
    Most other Asian markets also ended higher, inspired by a tech-led charge on Wall Street that swept the Nasdaq composite index up 3 percent to its first close above the 5,000-point mark. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 154.20 points, or 1.6 percent, to 10,010.73, recovering from a 117-point slide earlier in the session, thanks mainly to stellar performances by tech issues Hewlett Packard and Microsoft.
    Tokyo's key Nikkei Average of 225 leading shares closed up 88.07 points, or 0.45 percent, at 19,750.40, helped by demand in cyclical sectors such as textile, mining and retailing. Japan's Economic Planning Agency reported better-than-expected machinery orders Thursday, sparking hopes for strong fourth-quarter gross domestic product figures, due out Monday.
    Sumitomo Coal Mining and Kawasaki Heavy Industries - both part of the so-called "old economy" sectors - both rose more than 8 percent.
    
Sony tumbles

    Such gains offset sharp declines in market heavyweights such as Sony Corp. and Internet investor Softbank Corp. Sony shares fell 6.4 percent to end at 26,300 - their seventh straight loss - amid news that Sony Computer Entertainment is looking into possible glitches in its PlayStation2 game console launched last week. Sony had rallied strongly in the run-up to the launch but has fallen about 20 percent since March 1, when the stock hit a record high of 33,900. Softbank tumbled almost 13 percent to 99,200.
    "The market's in a confused state at the moment, with everyone having doubts about the valuation of Internet-related stocks while being slightly optimistic about the overall economy," Masatoshi Sato, an equities trader at Kankaku Securities, told Reuters.
    Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 194.83 points, or 1.1 percent, at 17,831.86, well off an early intraday peak that carried the index up more than 2 percent past the 18,000 mark shortly offer the start.
    Blue-chip heavyweight Hutchison Whampoa jumped more than 7 percent to HK$46.50, a day after the conglomerate said it is joining forces with the Li Ka-shing Foundation and U.S.-based Internet Capital Group to purchase a Hong Kong-listed toymaker. The toy company, Harbour Ring International Holdings, rocketed 583 percent after resuming trade for the first time since March 1. Hutchison has risen more than 30 percent in the past three months.
    Dealers also attributed Hutchison's rise to a gain of nearly 2 percent Thursday in Britain's Vodafone AirTouch, in which Hutchison holds a 10.1 percent stake. Hutchison parent Cheung Kong ended 3.3 percent higher at HK$110.00, while China Telecom edged up 0.3 percent to HK$73.00. International bank HSBC Holdings closed unchanged at HK$87.75.
    The bellwether All Ordinaries index in Sydney eked out a narrow gain. The blue chip index ended up 2.9 points at 3,199.5 as investors reconsidered their exposure to banks and financial stocks after an A$8.2 billion takeover bid by Commonwealth Bank of Australia for banking and insurance company Colonial Ltd. The deal would create Australia's largest domestic financial-services institution in terms of market value.
    Singapore's Straits Times Index rose 0.7 percent to close at 2,096.24, led by demand for internet-related stocks and companies involved in e-commerce activities. SembCorp Logistics soared more than 23 percent as the company announced a stock split and cheered investors with plans to beef up its e-commerce strategy.
    The benchmark weighted index in Taiwan closed down 1.6 percent at 9,429.60, retracing most of Thursday's 2 percent rise. Selling in late trade reflected mounting caution ahead of the country's March 18 presidential election. The index had been higher early in the session, helped by the Nasdaq's advance the previous day.
    In South Korea, the Kospi closed up three quarters of a percent at 891.36, helped by strength in small-cap stocks. Stocks in Malaysia gained 2.8 percent while the main index in Thailand climbed 2.3 percent. Jakarta shares closed up 1.9 percent, propelled by interest in technology stocks in the wake of the Nasdaq rally.
    Manila's key stock index slipped a third of a percent as many overseas investors hugged the sidelines in the wake of a price-fixing probe this week, centered on gaming firm BW Resource Corp.
    In the currency markets, the Japanese yen strengthened slightly against the U.S. dollar to 106.34 yen, from 106.40 late Thursday in New York, helped by the strong Japanese economic data. Back to top
    --from staff and wire reports

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.