In Hong Kong today the Hang Seng Index rose 1.2 percent to close at 22,200. In Japan the Nikkei Index shed 0.2 percent, ending the day at 10,237, and in China, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.1 percent finishing the trading session at 3,038.
In Hong Kong, shares in Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (FXCNF) rocketed 9 percent on the announcement that its major shareholder, Taiwanese Hon Hai Precision Industry Ltd., is planning to build a $1 billion factory in China, according to Bloomberg. Foxconn and Hon Hai manufacture products for Apple, Dell, Sony and other major consumer electronics products including Motorola cell phones and Amazon's Kindle. Could this new plant be setting up to manufacture the fabled Apple Tablet?
As oil climbed higher, Cnooc Ltd. (CEO) rallied 4.2 percent and PetroChina Co. (PTR) advanced 3 percent. Rising fuel costs are not good news for airlines like Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (CPCAY), which slid 1.5 percent.
In Hong Kong's retail sector, Li & Fung Ltd. (LFUGY), Wal-Mart and Target's biggest supplier rallied 3.7 percent, while Esprit Holdings Ltd. (ESHDY) added 2.1 percent.
In Tokyo, Japan Airlines Corp. (JALSY) soared 11.9 percent on the news that the company will be bailed out of its financial woes with public funds. The beleaguered airline also plans to begin talks with Delta and American Airlines, who may negotiate for stakes in its businesses. This news sent shares in Japan Airlines creditors, which feared write-offs were coming their way, into the green. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (MFG) climbed 2.3 percent and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (MTU) advanced 2.1 percent.
Japanese losers included Casio Computer Co. (CSIOY), which lost 8.9 percent, and Fast Retailing Co. (FRCOY), which suffered from JPMorgan lowering its rating on the clothing chain operator, fell 3.7 percent. Fast Retailing runs the popular Uniqlo shops and has enjoyed a recent rally of 44 percent in the last month.
In China, building-related stocks were on the rise with developer Gemdale Corp. surging 8.3 percent and China Vanke Co. (CVKEF) shooting up 6.8 percent. Both companies are based in the factory-laden Shenzhen area where property sales are soaring.
Shares in Chinese commodity-based companies rose today, with Jiangxi Copper Co. (JIXAY) leaping 7.4 percent and Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. adding 3.5 percent, not only helping to strengthen the rising crop of new Chinese skyscrapers and luxury developments, but the Asian economy as a whole.
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