Published : Friday, 16 January, 2015, Time : 12:00 AM, View Count : 6
TOKYO, Jan 15: Asian stocks mostly edged up on Thursday after a significant rebound in oil and copper prices brought a semblance of calm, while the dollar regained ground lost on disappointing U.S. retail sales. Spreadbetters saw the upward momentum for risk assets being retained in Europe, forecasting Britain's FTSE to open up by as much as 0.5 per cent and Germany's DAX and France's CAC both seen starting 0.6 per cent higher. Indian stocks rallied after the Reserve Bank of India yielded to signs of slowing inflation and delivered a surprise interest rate cut. The India NSE index rose 1.8 per cent. Equity gains in much of the region were less spectacular as global growth worries lingered after weak U.S. retail sales compounded concerns over an earlier plunge in copper prices. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.1 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1 per cent and Japan's Nikkei bounced 1.3 per cent. Stocks in Australia, heavily dependent on exports of natural resources, lost 0.4 per cent. South Korea's KOSPI dropped 0.2 per cent. "Consumers gain purchasing power when oil prices fall, but the fact that U.S. retail sales fell in December despite cheap oil has highlighted a serious deflation risk," said Chun Jung-hun, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. Copper skidded to a 5-1/2-year low on Wednesday as the recent decline in oil prices amplified fears about the state of the global economy. The industrial metal is generally considered a barometer of world demand. After plunging 5.3 per cent overnight, benchmark LME copper rose 1.3 per cent to $5,622 a tonne. Wednesday's data from the United States further capped risk appetite, with investors already feeling a chill from the World Bank's downgrade of its 2015 and 2016 economic forecasts.