HK Retail Exporters Rise on U.S. Spending Data, Toyota in NASA's Hands
Miners and energy producers rose in Hong Kong with Chalco, otherwise known as Aluminum Corporation of China, advancing 2.7%, Yanzhou Coal Mining gaining 2.7% and Real Gold Mining adding 1.2%. China Shenhua Energy, which produces coal, advanced 1.6%.
Hutchison Whampoa, which runs a multitude of businesses, from telecommunications and shipping ports to hotels and e-commerce services, fell 2.7% after reporting that net income missed analyst's estimates. Hutchison Whampoa is run by Li Ka-shing, who ranks 14th on Forbes' latest list of the world's billionaires. But today his property company, Cheung Kong also slipped, losing 0.5%, even after reporting that profits for 2009 had risen 53%.
Other Hong Kong developers fell, including Country Garden, which is owned by China's second richest woman. New World Development sank 0.9%, while China Overseas surged 2.7% and Henderson Land gained 1.4%.
Chinese real estate company Gemdale soared 3.2% and China Vanke climbed 0.9%. Property prices in China have risen 11% in February alone, says Bloomberg, as buyers take advantage of the government's massive stimulus packages designed to keep the economy chugging along.
Shaanxi Baoguang Vacuum Electronic Apparatus surged to its 10% daily limit after reports that it will sell one arm of its business and Harbin Air Conditioning slumped 8.1% after reporting a 49% drop in income for 2009.
In Japan, the news of higher consumer spending across the seas combined with a drop in the jobless rate at home sent shares in electronics companies higher. Konica Minolta surged 3.5%, Canon climbed 2.5%, Sony racked up a 2% gain and Panasonic advanced 1.6%.
Carmakers, also heavily dependent on sales abroad, closed higher with Mazda rising 2% and Honda gaining 0.9%. Even beleaguered Toyota, which has recently recalled over 8 million cars, added 0.8%. NASA has now been called in to solve the mystery of unintended acceleration of Toyota's Camry's Corollas and other models. Needing a rocket scientist to sort out the problem is a sure sign of just how high tech these Japanese cars have become.