A.M. market numbers for January 21, 2010

By Staff | January 20, 2010 | Last updated on January 20, 2010
3 min read
| North American markets | International markets | Bonds | Currency | Commodities |

Most Asian stock markets dropped Thursday after China’s economy surged last quarter, adding to worries about Beijing’s ability to prevent overheating without derailing the recovery. European markets opened higher.

Asia’s weaker trade followed sharp losses on Wall Street. The dollar gained against the yen and euro while oil prices fell after trading higher most of the day.

China, declaring itself the first country to recover from the global crisis, said its economy grew 10.7 per cent in the fourth quarter and 8.7 per cent for all of 2009, blowing away forecasts.

The dizzying growth, along with government figures showing inflation on the rise, means China is likely to take additional measures rein in bank lending and remove extra money from the system to help cool the economy.

Analysts said uncertainties about what precise steps China will take and when to keep its economy from overheating weighed on investors. Beijing’s policymakers have yet to telegraph clear plans for handling challenges like asset bubbles, inflation and the country’s currency.

“Investors are concerned about how China is going to deal with the situation. The bottom line is they don’t know what to expect and what the effects will be on the economy and the region,” said Thomas Lam, group chief economist at financial services firm OSK-DMG in Singapore.

As trading started in Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.2 per cent, Germany’s DAX added 0.3 per cent and France’s CAC-40 gained 0.5 per cent. U.S. futures pointed to a lacklustre open on Wall Street. S&P futures were up 0.9 point, or 0.1 per cent, at 1,134.90.

Hong Kong led Asia’s declines, with the Hang Seng falling 423.50 points, or 2 per cent, to 20,862.67. India’s market dropped 2.1 per cent, Taiwan’s index fell 1.1 per cent and Australia’s benchmark lost 0.8 per cent. Singapore’s market slid 1.4 per cent.

Bucking the region’s declines was Japan, where the Nikkei 225 stock average rose 130.89, or 1.2 per cent, to 10,868.41 on gains in technology stocks. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.5 per cent.

In China, Shanghai’s benchmark recouped losses to close up 7.01 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 3,158.86.

China’ fast-growing economy has helped lead the world out of recession, so many investors are trying to gauge the degree of support it can provide in the next year. According to a World Bank report Thursday, global economic growth may wilt later this year as stimulus spending fades.

Beijing’s next steps were a source of speculation Thursday. Rising inflation could lead the government to raise interest rates as early as March, analysts at Capital Economics said in a report.

Others said the government would act slowly through other means, like increasing the amount of reserves banks must keep on hand and targeting aggressive lenders. Dong Tao, regional economist at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong, expected China’s moves would be “tentative and gradual” without higher interest rates until the U.S. starting raising rates or China’s inflation jumped to 3 per cent or more.

Disappointing corporate results in the U.S. contributed to a steep fall on Wall Street overnight.

The Dow fell 122.28, or 1.1 per cent, to 10,603.15, its biggest point loss since Dec. 17 and its biggest percentage drop since Dec. 31. The Dow had been down as much as 208 points.

The broader S&P 500 index fell 12.19, or 1.1 per cent, to 1,138.04, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 29.15, or 1.3 per cent, to 2,291.25.

Oil prices fell in late Asia trade, with benchmark crude for March delivery down 35 cents to $77.40 a barrel. The contract fell $1.58 to settle at $77.74 on Wednesday.

The February contract expired Wednesday, ending down $1.40 at $77.62.

The dollar strengthened to 91.60 yen from 91.22 yen. The euro was lower at $1.4055 from $1.4104.

(The Canadian Press)

North American markets Back to Top
Open Change 2009 Full Year
Dow Jones 10,603.15 -122.28 or -1.14% +1.68%
S&P 500 1,138.04 -12.19 or -1.06% +2.06%
NASDAQ 2,291.25 -29.15 or -1.26% +0.97%
TSX Composite 11,679.32 -84.10 or -0.71% -0.57%

International markets Back to Top
Open Change YTD
Nikkei 10,868.41 +130.89 or +1.22% +3.05%
Hang Seng 20,862.67 -423.50 or -1.99% -4.62%
SENSEX 17,051.14 -423.35 or -2.42% +2.37%
FTSE 100 5,404.22 -16.58 or -0.31% -0.16%
CAC 40 3,929.93 +0.98 or +0.02% -0.16%
DAX 5,852.30 +0.77 or +0.01% -1.76%

Bonds Back to Top
Bonds $Current $Previous %Yield
Cdn. 10-year bond 102.63 102.18 3.42
Cdn. 30-year bond 116.32 115.75 4.01
U.S. 10-year bond 97.53 97.72 3.67
U.S. 30-year bond 97.09 98.34 4.55

Currency Back to Top
BoC Close Today Previous
Canadian $ 0.9515 0.9551
US $ 1.0510 1.0470

Euro Spot Rate Today Previous
Canadian $ 0.6773 0.6774
Euro 1.4764 1.4763

Commodities Back to Top
Gold AM PM
London Gold Fix ($US) $1,104.00 $1,120.25

Oil Open Change
WTI Crude Future (US) $77.65 -$0.09 or -0.12%


Advisor.ca staff


The staff of Advisor.ca have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.