U.S. Markets closed

Asia stocks up despite global growth warnings

Pamela Sampson, AP Business Writer

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, workers count the small currency notes from bus fares at the accounting center of a bus company in Rizhao city in east China's Shandong province. The World Bank cut this year's growth outlook for developing Asia-Pacific economies to 7.2 percent from its May forecast of 7.6 percent. The bank cut its forecast for China, the region's biggest economy, to 7.7 percent from May's 8.2 percent. (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

BANGKOK (AP) -- Asian stocks markets shrugged off yet another dismal prediction about global economic growth to mostly post solid gains Tuesday.

The gains in Asia came despite the International Monetary Fund cutting its forecast for global economic growth, just a day after the World Bank issued a warning about a slackening expansion in Asia.

Some analysts suggested that Asia still remained a bright stop and that investors should keep the big picture in mind.

"Asia has grown nearly 32 (percent) in the four years since Lehman Brothers collapsed," analysts at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore said in a market commentary. "That's how big Asia is today and how fast it is growing. A weak Europe will never be a plus for Asia. But it's never mattered less either."

Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.1 percent to 21,040.40 and South Korea's Kospi fluctuated between slight gains and losses. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 4,505.30.

Mainland China's Shanghai Composite Index climbed 2 percent to 2,116.80 and the smaller Shenzhen Composite Index added 2.3 percent to 869.21.Benchmarks in Indonesia, Thailand and India also rose.

But Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.9 percent to 8,784.52. Benchmarks in Singapore and Taiwan also fell.

China's central bank took a new step to support slowing economic growth by boosting credit. The bank injected 265 billion yuan ($42 billion) into the money supply in what analysts said was the second-biggest such move to date. It was the third such injection in as many weeks.

But Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities in Hong Kong, said he believes the strong rebound boils down to this: mainland Chinese stocks, closed for a holiday last week, are playing catch-up with the Dow Jones industrial average, which hit a four-year high on Sept. 12, closing at 13,333.

"I think it's just follow-through action after the Golden Week holiday," he said. "Yesterday, it went into consolidation. Today it resumed its upsurge."

Wall Street didn't display quite the same zing after investors looked at forecasts for poor U.S. corporate earnings. Companies in the S&P 500 index are expected to post an overall decline in profits for the first time in 11 quarters, according to FactSet.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.2 percent Monday to close at 13,583.65. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.4 percent, to 1,455.88. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.8 percent to 3,112.35.

Among individual stocks, embattled Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. plummeted 10.2 percent. Hong Kong-listed China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia's biggest oil refiner, surged 4.5 percent. Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group jumped 6.5 percent.

Benchmark oil for November delivery was up 85 cents to $90.19 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed down 55 cents to $89.33 per barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.2982 from $1.2967 late Monday in New York. The dollar rose to 78.40 yen from 78.34 yen.