Asian shares rise, emerging market fears ease


AFP, Hong Kong :
Asian markets rose Wednesday following Wall Street’s lead, as tensions over emerging markets eased and ahead of a Federal Reserve decision on its stimulus programme.
Tokyo stocks jumped 2.70 percent, or 403.75 points, to 15,383.91 as the dollar climbed and confidence rose after the central banks of India and Turkey increased interest rates, countering a sell-off in their currencies.
Seoul rose 1.26 percent, or 24.22 points, to 1,941.15 and Sydney finished 1.04 percent, or 53.9 points, higher at 5,229.0.
In afternoon trade Hong Kong was up 0.92 percent while Shanghai was 0.63 percent higher.
Taipei was closed for a public holiday.
With the stability of emerging economies back on the agenda, dealers are waiting to find out what the Fed plans to do with its huge stimulus programme.
Last month the Fed said it would reduce the bond-buying by $10 billion a month to $75 billion from January, citing an improved US economy.
While it has been credited with fuelling an investment boom in developing countries, there are fears that the removal of the cheap cash will lead to huge capital outflows.
Those fears were brought into focus last week when Argentina’s peso slumped 14 percent against the dollar, leading to a sell-off in the currencies of other emerging nations such as Indonesia, India and Thailand. That in turn sent global markets tumbling.
However, tensions eased somewhat on Tuesday after India and then Turkey-whose currencies have come under pressure- raised their borrowing rates.
The Reserve Bank of India lifted its benchmark repo rate, at which it lends to commercial banks, by 25 basis points to 8.0 percent. Hours later Turkey hiked its overnight lending rate to 12 percent from 7.75 percent.
The dollar eased to 2.1643 lira, down from 2.2520 lira before the announcement, and well off its 2.39 lira peak on Monday. The rupee was at 62.15 to the greenback on Wednesday, against levels around 63.20 previously.
A more upbeat outlook helped the dollar rise against the yen, which is considered a safer bet in times of uncertainty.
In afternoon Tokyo trade the dollar fetched 103.32 yen against 102.97 yen in New York Tuesday.
The euro inched up to 141.16 yen from 140.73 yen while sitting at $1.3662 against $1.3667.