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Stock Roundup: Gold reaches a record global high

ASIAN markets were not spared last week’s global rout after unexpectedly poor US job data and new fears over Hungary’s sovereign debt levels.

Monday saw MSCI Asia Pacific Index slide 3.3 percent, its biggest decline since March 30, 2009, as economists scrambled to re-evaulate forecasts following fears of economic instability, Bloomberg reported.

However, the index recovered 1.2 percent on Friday on the back of a Wall Street rally. The Dow Jones had risen by 2.76 percent on Thursday on news of Japanese economic growth, soaring Chinese exports and falling Australian unemployment.

Gold rose to record levels across the world Friday, reaching US$1,254.50 an ounce in New York, as investors sought a safe alternative to currencies such as the euro.

Gold’s popularity may explain the rapid rise of non-NASDAQ over-the-counter stock Elray Resources, the gold and copper explorer behind Angkor Wat Minerals Ltd, which owns a 100 percent interest in Porphyry Creek – a 90-square-kilometre gold and copper claim around 290 kilometres north of Phnom Penh. The company’s share price rose 263 percent during the week.

It opened on Monday at US$0.033, and closed Friday at $0.12. However, shares remained almost $0.30 off its 52-week high of $0.41.

Australian Stock Exchange-listed Toll Holdings, one of the region’s largest logistics providers, which is currently renovating Cambodia’s railway network, said Monday that it was buying DPAX Group, an independent express air-freight operator, from Qantas Airways.

Although the price remains confidential, Toll said it expected the new business to make AU$30 million (US$25.5 million) in revenue in its first year.

The company opened AU$0.15 lower on Tuesday at AU$5.5 before closing at AU$5.86 – 1.38 percent higher than its Monday open.

Regional telecom company Axiata Group, owner of Cambodia’s Hello brand, solidified operations in Malaysia with a memorandum of understanding signed between its Malaysian subsidiary Celecom Axiata, and DiGi Telecommunications – the Malaysian arm of Norway’s Telenor Group.

Axiata said the MoU was “among the first such collaboration[s] in the world”.

Axiata said the MoU will see the two networks consider “extensive collaboration” of resources, including base station sites and equipment in order to cut costs by cutting “escalating” rental fees, utility bills and transmission costs.

Axiata’s price per share closed Friday at 3.85 ringgit (US$1.17). This was 0.9 ringgit higher than its Monday opening.

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