Export companies lift Asian stocks

March 28 | Updated: Mar 29 2005, 05:30am hrs
Asian exporter stocks rose, led by Honda Motor Company and Samsung Electronics Company, after the dollar gained, boosting the value of overseas sales in local currency terms. The dollar is strengthening and thats a good thing for the market, especially exporters, said Koichi Ogawa, who helps oversee $9.4 billion in Japanese equities at Daiwa SB Investments Ltd in Tokyo. A stronger dollar is also a sign of optimism about the US economic outlook.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.3% to 11,792.3 at the 3 pm close in Tokyo. South Koreas Kospi index climbed 1.3% for its first two-day advance in three weeks. The dollar rose to a four-month high against the yen and gained for a third day against the won. Pakistans benchmark fell 3.2%, its eighth day of declines. Indexes in all other markets open for trading fell, except for Malaysias Kuala Lumpur Composite Index.

The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index, which measures more than 900 stocks in the region and is denominated in dollars, lost 0.3%. Markets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong were closed for a holiday.

Honda, Japans third-largest carmaker, climbed 1.1% to 5,480 yen. The company gets 80% of its operating profit from the US. Samsung Electronics, South Koreas largest exporter, rose 1% to 510,000 won.

Samsung gets about 70% of its sales from overseas, according to Bae Seung-Chul, a technology analyst at Samsung Securities Company Hyundai Motor Company, the nations largest automaker, gained 2.1% to 57,400 won. The dollar rose to a four-month high at 106.98 yen in Asian trading, up 0.6% from its close on March 25. The won fell for a third day against the dollar, declining 0.3% to 1,016.85.


US index futures up

March 28: US stock-index futures gained as crude oil futures fell, easing concern that higher energy prices will slow economic growth. SunGard Data Systems Inc, whose software handles about 70% of all Nasdaq Stock Market trades, surged after seven buyout firms agreed to acquire the company for $11.3 billion in the worlds largest leveraged takeover since 1989.