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Wall Street Recovery Boosts Asian Stocks - 2002-10-18


Major Asian stock markets rallied on the back of a Wall Street recovery this week. However, terrorist attacks in Indonesia and the Philippines scared away investors in Southeast Asia.

It was Tokyo's best week in seven months. The Nikkei 225 average finished at 9,086 points on Friday, up 6.5 percent from last week.

Electronics and computer-related shares gained following news that U.S. software giant Microsoft raised its earnings forecast.

South Korea's Kospi index surged 14 percent during the week, finishing on Friday at 670. Samsung Electronics announced Friday that third-quarter profits had quadrupled compared with the previous year. The news led the company's stock 6.2 percent higher on Friday.

Taipei's main share index saw similar action. The Taiex ended 15 percent higher, closing at 4,458.

Analyst Adrian Dunn with the banking firm HSBC in Bangkok says markets in Southeast Asia picked up on Friday, after suffering losses in the wake of terrorist bombings in Indonesia and the southern Philippines.

"Indonesia hit a very much lower level in the immediate aftermath of the Bali bomb and is just beginning to bounce back from that," he explained. "The Philippines, of course, because of the bombs in the last couple of days is still at its low."

Jakarta's main share index was hardest hit by the bombings in Bali last Saturday, as fears the country's tourism and consumer confidence would diminish. Shares early in the week lost more than 10 percent. But on Friday, the JSX index managed a gain of 1.6 percent from Thursday's close, and finished at 360 points.

The main share index in the Philippines slid 1.2 percent Friday, 1,027 points, after a grenade blast in Manila's financial district unsettled investors. Officials say the explosion was not linked to a deadly bombing in the southern Philippines on Thursday.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rallied for a fifth day on Friday, ending at 9,086, up eight percent from last Friday's end.

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