18 Dec 2008

Asia-Pacific markets make slight gains

8:58 pm on 18 December 2008

Markets in the Asia-Pacific region made small gains on Thursday.

The New Zealand index was 12 points higher, or 0.43%, at 2707 on turnover of $63 million.

Top stocks were mixed, with Telecom down 1 cent to $2.34, Contact Energy up 27c to $7.20 and Fletcher Building rising 8c to $6.15.

New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay slid 15c, or 20%, to 60c after issuing an earnings downgrade. The Warehouse gained 13c to $3.58.

The Australian share market finished marginally in the black with a weaker Commonwealth Bank and energy stocks weighed on the bourse.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 10.6 points, or 0.3%, at 3,581.2, while the broader All Ordinaries index gained 6.7 points, or 0.19%, to 3,521.7.

In Japan, share prices closed 0.64% higher on rising expectations the central bank will cut interest rates in a bid to shore up the world's second largest economy, dealers said.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange's benchmark Nikkei-225 index rose 54.71 points to close at 8,667.23.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares eked out a marginal gain of 0.23 points or 0.03% to finish at 838.69.