Asian markets rebound

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HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose on Wednesday following recent losses despite a fall on Wall Street at the start of the US corporate earnings season.

The dollar and euro also picked up against the yen, providing strong support for the Nikkei index.

Tokyo rose 0.49 percent by the break, Hong Kong gained 0.51 percent, Sydney was 0.39 percent higher and Seoul was up 0.10 percent but Shanghai was 0.20 percent off.

Regional markets bounced back after a recent sell-off fuelled by profit-taking but traders were given a negative lead from Wall Street despite a positive start to the earnings season.

Aluminium giant Alcoa posted a profit of $242 million in the three months to December, compared with a year-earlier loss of $191 million.

The company also stayed in the black for the full year, despite aluminium prices falling 12 percent.

However the Dow fell 0.41 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.32 percent and the Nasdaq shed 0.23 percent.

With immediate fiscal worries at bay after the United States last week dodged across-the-board tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, dealers are looking for fresh cues to spur buying.

On Thursday and Friday Beijing will release data on key indicators including inflation and trade, with hopes rising that the world's number two economy will show further signs of emerging from its recent slowdown.

On currency markets the yen weakened as importers and retail investors bought the euro and dollar for overseas purchases.

The dollar bought 87.31 yen in Asian trade, from 86.97 yen in New York late Tuesday.

The euro also slipped to 114.28 yen from 113.75, while sitting at $1.3081 from $1.3079.

Oil prices were mixed, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, dropping a cent to $93.14 a barrel while Brent North Sea crude for February delivery gained 10 cents to $112.04.

Gold was at $1,658.11 at 0250 GMT compared with $1,653.49 late Tuesday. (AFP)

Courtesy: The News

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