Thai Airways, EVA, China Airlines and AirAsia buck downward trend – SHARE WRAP

Most Asian sharemarkets fell yesterday in response to Monday’s jitters on Wall Street. Thailand’s benchmark SETI Index however shrugged off early falls to close slightly up, led by some heavy buying in energy, telecom and airline stocks. Thai Airways jumped 9.5%.

AirAsia rose 2.6% as its long-haul offshoot, AirAsia X, confirmed plans to increase Kuala Lumpur-London Stansted frequency to daily from 01-Jul-09, due to “unprecedented” demand. With fares from GBP149 one way, the response is hardly surprising.

Chinese carriers were steady, retracing heavy intra-day falls, after the CAAC clarified it has no plans to alter the current fare policy. Earlier reports suggested a new system would raise average fares by 20%, with fewer discounts available.

Virgin Blue and Qantas lost ground in a weak ASX200, closing down 4.8% and 3.5%, respectively.

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Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 21-Apr-09