- POSTED: 31 Dec 2013 15:44
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Asian markets mostly rose on Tuesday on the last day of the year following another record close on Wall Street, but Shanghai was set to be the region's worst performer over the past 12 months.
HONG KONG: Asian markets mostly rose on Tuesday on the last day of the year following another record close on Wall Street, but Shanghai was set to be the region's worst performer over the past 12 months.
While the Dow ended at another all-time high, disappointing US home sales figures sent the dollar lower after it touched a five-year high against the yen.
In holiday-reduced trade Hong Kong added 0.26 percent, or 61.52 points, to close at 23,306.39 - putting on 2.87 percent over the past 12 months.
Sydney was flat, dipping 4.6 points to 5,352, but closed the year more than 15 percent higher. Wellington eased 0.67 percent, or 31.97 points, to 4,737.01 -- but finished the year 16.49 percent stronger.
Shanghai added 0.88 percent, or 18.45 points, to end at 2,115.98. But it finished down 6.75 percent for 2013, making it one of the world's worst performers.
Taipei eased 0.14 percent, or 11.92 points, to 8,611.51 - leaving the index up 11.85 percent over the past 12 months.
Mumbai rose 0.13 percent or 27.67 points to close at 21,170.68 points, and Kuala Lumpur's main index lost 5.56 points, or 0.30 percent, to 1,866.96.
Tokyo, Manila, Seoul, Bangkok and Jakarta were closed for the holiday.
While Japan's Nikkei closed Monday with a 57 percent advance over the year - its strongest performance in four decades making it the world's best performer - Shanghai ended a torrid 2013 that saw it suffer two liquidity crises.
In June and again in December, a cash crunch in China's financial markets fuelled worries about the economy, which was already suffering a slowdown that had knock-on effects for other nations dependent on Beijing for growth.
Tuesday's advance followed a pledge by the central bank, the People's Bank of China, to maintain an "appropriate" level of liquidity, while interbank lending rates eased further after the bank released fresh funds into the financial system.
"The central bank showed the attitude that it didn't want interest rates to stay at unduly high levels by offering short-term liquidity, which eased concerns among financial institutions," Xie Yaxuan, an economist with China Merchants Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Regional investors took heart from the Dow's record close on Monday.
However, the S&P 500, which has also hit multiple record highs this year, edged down 0.02 percent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq eased 0.06 percent.
In forex trade the dollar slipped after data showed US pending home sales rose 0.2 percent in November, the first rise in five months but below the 1.5 percent increase projected by analysts.
The dollar bought 104.98 yen from 105.11 yen in New York, after touching 105.41 yen earlier Monday - its strongest since October 2008.
The euro fetched 1.3785 against $1.3800 in US trade and 144.74 yen compared with 145.05 yen.
Oil prices were flat. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for February delivery, added two cents to $99.31 in mid-morning trade. Brent North Sea crude for February rose two cents to $111.23.
Gold fetched $1,198.89 at 0700 GMT compared with $1,197.80 late Monday.