Shares in Asia climbed higher today with Japan's Nikkei adding 1.8 percent to close at 10,239. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5 percent to end the day at 21,999 and China's Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.3 percent to 2,980.
Hong Kong-listed mobile phone-making behemoth Foxconn International Holdings (FXCNF) leaped 6.7 percent. Rumor has it that Apple's soon-to-be-released tablet computer -- Apple's answer to the Kindle -- will be built by Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd., according to reports on macobserver.com. Foxconn Technology owns 75 percent of the Hong Kong phone-maker and rose 4 percent in today's trading in Taiwan. The e-reader will reportedly feature a 10.4-inch screen.
In Hong Kong, banking stocks buoyed the market after news that JPMorgan Chase & Co. reported earnings that outperformed estimates. China Construction Bank Corp. (CICHF) added 1.5 percent and HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBC) rose 1.3 percent.
Wal-Mart and Target clothing and toy supplier Li & Fung Ltd. (LFUGY), which is run by Hong Kong man-about-town Bruce Rockowitz, climbed 3.9 percent, while clothing maker Esprit Holdings Ltd. (ESHDF) was up 1.8 percent.
It was a bad day for casino shareholders as China threatened to restrict visas for Chinese tourists heading to Macau. Last month, gamblers were allowed one visit each month, but the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch reports that authorities have re-set the number of visits to one every two months. On this news, Stephen Wynn's recently debuted Wynn Macau Ltd. sank 6.3 percent, SJM Holdings Ltd. (SJMHF), dived 7.7 percent and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. (GXYEF) plunged 6.4 percent.
In Japan, computer-related stocks were on the rise with internet security software developer Trend Micro Inc. (TMICY), shooting up 7.7 percent. Sony Corp.(SNE), the maker of the popular Vaio computer, increased 3.6 percent. Chipmaker Elpida Memory Inc. (ELPDF) advanced 2.9 percent after posting operating profits for the first time in eight quarters and Sharp Corp. (SHCAY), which makes liquid-crystal displays, rose 3 percent.
Other Japanese electronics stocks saw gains: Pioneer Corp. (PNCOF), the original maker of the DVD player, surged 5.17 percent, and Toshiba Corp. (TOSBF) soared 3.9 percent.
Japan Airlines Corp. (JALSY) was the day's biggest loser after a Japanese newspaper reported that banks may reject the company's plea to write-off its debts. The airline's stock plunged 11 percent to a new record low.
In China, financial stocks led the way on news that September lending had increased in September and that home prices were recovering quickly. Brokerage company Guoyuan Securities Co. leaped 4.8 percent, Hong Yuan Securities Co. increased 3.5 percent, and Northeast Securities Co. added 2 percent. Bank of Communications Ltd., which is partly owned by HSBC rose 1.4 percent. On days like this, the banking crisis begins to look like a distant memory.
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