July 20, 2011 / 1:35 AM / 8 years ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Tech, U.S. debt progress lifts stocks; euro dips

* Asia tech bounce lifts stocks, Nikkei up 1.3 pct

* Obama comments on debt deal progress boosts confidence

* Euro eases, Thursday summit hopes dampen

* Gold up on light Asia buying after 11-day gaining streak snaps

By Vikram Subhedar

HONG KONG, July 20 (Reuters) - Asian shares rose on hopes that an 11th-hour deal in U.S. debt talks would avert a rapidly approaching default while blowout results from Apple lifted the tech sector which is likely to extend gains into European trading as well.

However, dampened expectations of a comprehensive solution to Greece’s debt crisis at a euro zone leaders’ summit on Thursday ate into the euro’s gains.

Financial bookmakers expect Europe’s main stock indexes to rise on Wednesday, adding to the previous session’s tentative rebound, helped by earnings hopes and signs of progress on a U.S. budget-reduction deal.

Financial spreadbetters expect Britain’s FTSE 100 to open around 16 points higher, or 0.3 percent, Germany’s DAX to open 25 points higher, or 0.4 percent, and France’s CAC 40 to open 8 points higher, or 0.2 percent.

The euro which had risen earlier as Italian and Spanish yields fell, gave up gains on increasing doubts that Thursday’s euro zone summit will offer a long-term solution to the debt crisis.

With just two weeks left until the U.S. government runs out of money to pay bills, President Barack Obama seized on a plan by a bipartisan group of senators that could revive stalled U.S. debt talks and the prospect of a long-term deficit reduction deal to avert a default.


Asian tech stocks, this year’s worst performing regional sector, got a lift as corporate earnings from IBM and iPhone maker Apple which surpassed analyst forecasts.

They are still by far the biggest underperformers with the MSCI index of technology firms in Asia ex-Japan down 7.6 percent this year, followed by industrials which are down only 2.5 percent.

Benchmarks in Japan , South Korea and Taiwan rose as makers of tablet and smart phone components posted strong gains. Beaten-down smartphone maker HTC jumped 7 percent.

“Thanks to Apple, its suppliers would be able to continue to grow substantially in Q3, even into next year,” said Oscar Chung, who manages about $448 million for Capital Securities Investment Trust in Taiwan.

The MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 1.1 percent. Samsung Electronics , which plans to introduce an upgraded version of its own Galaxy tablet in the Korean markets on Wednesday, jumped 3.5 percent.

Analysts from Societe Generale said in a note that over the past month Asia’s tech sector had clearly lagged peers in the U.S. and Europe, suggesting there was more room for a rebound in regional names especially if Intel Corp results, expected later on Wednesday, are not as bad as feared.

The euro edged lower as German Chancellor Angela Merkel doused expectations for Thursday’s emergency euro zone summit, saying expectations for a single, final solution to the Greek crisis was unrealistic.

“Further steps will be necessary and not just one spectacular event which solves everything,” Merkel told reporters on Tuesday.


The euro was trading down 0.1 percent around $1.4140 against the dollar after a 0.3 percent gain on Tuesday, having pulled away from a four-month low near $1.3838 hit last week.

“There hasn’t been any progress and the euro just seems to be moving this way and that within a range,” said Tsutomu Soma, senior manager for Okasan Securities’ foreign securities department in Tokyo.

“I don’t think anyone can buy the euro wholeheartedly,” he said, adding that the euro may struggle to rise above resistance in the $1.4250 to $1.4300 area in the near term.

Gold edged up again on light Asia buying after it snapped an unprecedented 11-day winning streak, shedding over 1 percent overnight as safe-haven interest ebbed. Spot gold which hit a record $1,609.51 an ounce on Tuesday was trading around $1,588.6 an ounce.

NYMEX crude oil CLc1 rose above $98 a barrel supported by hopes of a U.S. debt deal, a weakening dollar against the euro and tightening crude stocks in the world’s largest oil consumer.

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blogs.reuters.com/hedgehub (Additional reporting by Faith Hung in TAIPEI and Masayuki Kitano in TOKYO; Editing by Ramya Venugopal)

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