Asian stocks surge raising hopes that credit crisis might be over


In early trading this morning, Asian stocks surged as investors hoped that the worst of the credit crisis may be over.

Strong demand for a Lehman Brothers securities offering, in spite of concerns it could face similar problems to rival Bear Stearns, boosted confidence.

Bank shares led stock markets higher, lifting Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 3.7% and shares in the rest of Asia 1.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index soared 4.4% to 24,154.75.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose more than 3% and stock indexes in Australia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan all gained over 2%.

Francis Lun, a general manager at Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong, said investors believe the credit crisis in the US is over.

Gold regained some strength on a technical rebound after declining to a 2-month low yesterday, when the rise in the dollar and the US stock rally triggered selling in precious metals. Gold rose to $889.30/890.10 an ounce from $884.20/885.40 late in New York.

Furthermore, yesterday saw an announcement from UBS who said its write-downs have more than doubled to about $37 billion (A?18.5 billion).

However, shares in UBS improved and dragged most of the UK banks higher on the fact that the write-downs were larger than expected and that this could signify the end of the credit squeeze.

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