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Asian stocks up on Fed's comments

Apr 6, 2009

Bernanke talks the markets up
Asian markets maintain their winning streak as we enter a new week. Comments from the US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the policies to unfreeze credit markets are working, seems to have raised optimism levels across Asia. Currently, while stocks in Hong Kong are up an average 3.3%, those in Japan and Korea are up 2.3% and 2.4% respectively. In the US as well, the Dow Jones Industrial index has seen some positive build up, given that it has risen by almost 21% over the past four weeks. This is the index's best four-week run in seventy-six years. However, amidst all this cheer, that fact that the real market - the economy - is still to show credible signs of improvement in the US, and around the world, suggests that the 'sudden' optimism towards stocks needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Unemployment is still on the rise worldwide, and new factory output is on the decline given that consumers are yet to make their way back to shopping in large numbers.

PwC isn't guilty, says Satyam's ex-CFO
In what would bring some relief to the global auditing firm, PwC, the ex-CFO of Satyam has told investigators that the auditor had no role to play in the fraud that erupted in India's fourth largest software firm (assuming the current numbers) late last year. As reported in The Economic Times, Srinivas Vadlamani has admitted that "the fraud was entirely perpetrated by former chairman B Ramalinga Raju with the active involvement of the CFO (Mr. Srinivas) himself, the company's managing director B Rama Raju and another official, cost accountant G Ramakrishna."

PwC has already received a lot of flak from regulators for its alleged role in the near Rs 80 bn fraud, which seems to have made the audit process in India more stringent with existing auditors of companies delaying finalisation of accounts in order to verify all statements given by management.

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