Markets open new week higher
Share markets in Asia have opened a new week mostly in positive territory following further steps by world leaders to help boost private financial institutions, reported Al-Jazeera.
But investors remained cautious, many sticking to safer government bonds rather than buying more risky stocks after last week's rollercoaster ride which saw global indices alternate between record lows and staging strong rallies.
Over the weekend, George Bush, the US president, announced he would host the first in a proposed series of global summits on the financial crisis, soon after the November 4 US presidential election.
The summits will focus on the "principles of reform" needed to fix the world's financial system, "so we can ensure that this crisis does not happen again", Bush said.
Kengo Suzuki, a currency strategist at Shinko Securities in Tokyo, told the Reuters news agency that the "slew of recent policy actions worldwide has provided some relief to the banking sectors in the major economies".
But dealers said that while stocks were much cheaper than just a few weeks ago, investors remained worried about the impact of the financial crisis on economic growth and corporate earnings.
"The state of the market remains very fragile with worries mounting about the global economy and emerging markets," Suzuki said.
Japan's Nikkei index rose 0.53 per cent in morning trade on Monday, boosted by bargain-hunting, but the index was still down 19 per cent for the month.
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng opened 2.2 per cent higher although it is down 17.3 per cent so far this month.
Markets in Singapore and Australia were also higher on Monday but South Korea's Kospi index gave up its early gains and moved into negative territory after initially opening strongly.
The Kospi's slide came despite the government's pledge of $130bn in state guarantees and capital injections over the weekend as analysts said the steps were unlikely to be strong enough to reverse a fierce downtrend and that South Korea remained particularly vulnerable to the global credit squeeze.
China's Shanghai Composite index was also slightly lower following news that the country's economic growth had slowed to 9.9 per cent in the first three quarters of the year - the first time its growth has dropped to single digits since the end of 2005.