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June 5, 2012, 4:29 a.m. EDT

Asian stocks rebound ahead of G-7 meeting

Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney stocks snap a 4-day losing streak

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By Sarah Turner and V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Asian shares mostly advanced Tuesday, snapping out of a series of recent declines and reversing some of Monday’s steep losses, amid hopes that policy makers would step in to stem growing concerns about the global economy.

South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 -3.30%  climbed 1.1%, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -3.67%  advanced 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -2.93%  climbed 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -3.25%  ranked among the day’s best performers, rallying 1.5%. Each of the four benchmarks ended a four-session losing streak.

The gains in Sydney came after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its key cash rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.5%, citing modest domestic economic growth and an more uncertain international environment. Read more on Australian rate cut.

“This cut was almost solely driven by the recent deterioration in global growth/credit conditions. This suggests that further cuts are likely,” said Su-Lin Ong, strategist at RBC Capital Markets.

Click to Play

With rates this low, who needs QE3?

The idea of the Federal Reserve instituting a new round of quantitative easing (referred by many as 'QE3') may be unnecessary with interest rates currently so low.

Elsewhere in the region, China’s Shanghai Composite index /zigman2/quotes/206600939/delayed CN:000001 -4.24%  ended 0.2% and Taiwan’s Taiex climbed 1.5%.

The broad gains came amid optimism that European policy makers would act to help ease the region’s debt problems, amid news that finance ministers and central-bank governors from the Group of Seven major economies will hold an emergency conference call later Tuesday to discuss the euro-zone crisis.

Strategists at BNP Paribas said that “any hint of coordinated action to deal with Europe will keep risk supported.” See report on Europe and the G-7 conference.

Meanwhile, Olli Rehn, the European Commission chief for economic and monetary affairs, reportedly said officials have considered the idea of directly recapitalizing euro-zone banks, and that discussions were moving forward on creating a banking union. Read more on European market action.

Exporters were among the many beaten-down Asian stocks that rebounded during the session.

Tokyo-listed electronics and technology firms traded higher as well, with Fujitsu Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208459594/delayed JP:6702 -5.48% /zigman2/quotes/208783738/delayed FJTSY -3.45%  jumped 5.5%, and Sony Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -3.87% /zigman2/quotes/208567357/composite SNE -4.77%  rose 3.3%.

Canon Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207639533/delayed JP:7751 -2.15% /zigman2/quotes/202555523/delayed CAJFF +3.51%  climbed 3.4% after the firm said that it would buy back up to 50 billion yen ($640 million) of its outstanding shares.

In South Korea, LG Electronics Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209966407/delayed KR:066570 -3.21%  climbed 4.7% and Samsung Electronics Co. /zigman2/quotes/202367843/delayed SSNLF 0.00%  gained 0.6% in Seoul, while Asustek Computer Inc. rose 3.6% and Nanya Technology Corp. climbed 6.8% in Taipei.

Some energy stocks also bounced back as Nymex crude-oil futures moved toward $85 a barrel in electronic trading.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/203437212/delayed AU:WPL -3.46%   /zigman2/quotes/206770672/delayed WOPEF -11.71%  rose 3.8% and Beach Energy Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT -5.90% /zigman2/quotes/206671354/delayed BEPTF -3.19% soared 10.1% in Sydney, and Inpex Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206689846/delayed JP:1605 -2.67%   /zigman2/quotes/207958170/delayed IPXHY -2.48% added 2.5% in Tokyo.

Shares of Wharf Holdings Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/202854264/delayed HK:4 -17.16%   /zigman2/quotes/209480994/delayed WARFF -11.86%  jumped 1.5% on news that the diversified conglomerate had accepted the Hong Kong government’s terms for renewal of a lease on a container terminal. Read more on Wharf’s lease terms.

Ranking among decliners, shares of Fast Retailing Co. /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -2.84% /zigman2/quotes/208569095/delayed FRCOF -2.74%  tumbled 8.8% in Tokyo after the firm reported that domestic same-store sales for its Uniqlo casual-clothes chain fell 10.3% compared to the year-ago period.

Qantas Airways Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205534063/delayed AU:QAN -1.95%   /zigman2/quotes/200387630/delayed QUBSF +0.26%  fell to an all-time low of 1.15 Australian dollars ($1.13) before recovering a cent to finish at A$1.16, down 18.7% from the previous day’s close. The slump came after the airline warned its annual pre-tax underlying profit could fall as much as 90% amid weakness at its international division. See report on Qantas profit warning.

/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
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1,987.01
-67.88 -3.30%
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US : U.S.: NYSE
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AU : Australia: Sydney
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AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 1.76
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P/E Ratio
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US : U.S.: OTC
$ 1.22
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Volume: 1,675
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N/A
Market Cap
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N/A
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JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 932.90
-25.60 -2.67%
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3.86%
Market Cap
¥1399.60 billion
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¥291.81M
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US : U.S.: OTC
$ 8.55
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2.07%
Market Cap
$12.72 billion
Rev. per Employee
$2.64M
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HK : Hong Kong
HK$ 16.32
-3.38 -17.16%
Volume: 25.03M
Feb. 28, 2020 2:49p
P/E Ratio
8.03
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3.98%
Market Cap
HK$60.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
HK$2.39M
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$ 2.60
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Volume: 1,300
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P/E Ratio
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Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$7.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$305,276
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/zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 53,440.00
-1,560 -2.84%
Volume: 1.45M
Feb. 28, 2020 3:00p
P/E Ratio
34.14
Dividend Yield
0.94%
Market Cap
¥5749.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥40.83M
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US : U.S.: OTC
$ 497.00
-14.00 -2.74%
Volume: 2.00
Feb. 27, 2020 3:41p
P/E Ratio
34.76
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$50.73 billion
Rev. per Employee
$369,206
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/zigman2/quotes/205534063/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 5.53
-0.11 -1.95%
Volume: 26.35M
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10.37
Dividend Yield
4.79%
Market Cap
$8.39 billion
Rev. per Employee
$568,765
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/zigman2/quotes/200387630/delayed
US : U.S.: OTC
$ 3.83
+0.01 +0.26%
Volume: 4,067
Feb. 27, 2020 5:20p
P/E Ratio
10.34
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$5.42 billion
Rev. per Employee
$424,527
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Sarah Turner is MarketWatch's bureau chief in Sydney. Varahabhotla Phani Kumar is a reporter in MarketWatch's Hong Kong bureau.

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