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Asian Shares Climb On Coronavirus Recovery Hopes

stockmarkets aug17 26may20 lt

Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as many U.S. states have begun lifting the restrictions of businesses and public spaces, a survey showed improvement in German business confidence and China sought to reassure Hong Kong that its judiciary would remain independent under a new national security law.

China's Shanghai Composite index rose about 1 percent to 2,846.55. China warned on Monday that it will take counter-measures if the United States insists on undermining its interests regarding Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1.88 percent to 23,384.66. National security legislation for Hong Kong will not change the "one country, two systems" policy, Commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Xie Feng emphasized on Monday.

Investors also reacted to data showing that Hong Kong's merchandise exports decreased at a slower pace in April. Exports fell 3.7 percent year-on-year following a 5.8 percent slump in March as the demand from China recovered slightly.

Japanese shares hit a near three-month high on hopes of economic revival after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the state of emergency in the country and said he would work to increase the government's stimulus packages to more than 200 trillion yen ($1.9 trillion), or a whopping 40 percent of the country's GDP.

The Nikkei average jumped 529.52 points, or 2.55 percent, to 21,271.17, the highest close since March 5. The broader Topix index closed 2.17 percent higher at 1,534.73, with air transportation, marine transportation and transportation equipment companies leading the surge.

Japan Airlines surged 8.2 percent, ANA Holdings advanced 5.7 percent, West Japan Railway Co jumped 8.3 percent and Central Japan Railway Co added 5.2 percent.

Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings gained 5.1 percent after the department store operator said it would reopen its main stores in the Tokyo area, including its Isetan flagship in Shinjuku.

Australian markets soared as businesses and activities gradually returned to normal. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today it is up to individual firms to weigh up political risks of doing business in China rather than look to the government for guidance.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 index climbed 164.40 points, or 2.93 percent, to 5,780, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended up 160 points, or 2.79 percent, at 5,889.90.

Energy stocks led the surge on the back of firmer oil prices. Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Oil Search rallied 3-4 percent. The big four banks soared 4-6 percent.

Seoul stocks climbed amid expectations the country's central bank will likely cut its policy rate to a record low on Thursday.

There were also hopes on economic recovery as the country prepares for a third supplementary budget, most of which would be funded by treasury bonds. The benchmark Kospi rallied 35.18 points, or 1.76 percent, to 2,029.78.

South Korea's consumer confidence improved in May after falling in the previous month, survey results from Bank of Korea showed today. The consumer confidence index rose to 77.6 in May from 70.8 in April. In March, the index reading was 78.4.

New Zealand shares rallied, with the benchmark NZX 50 index ending up 138.94 points, or 1.29 percent, at 10,914.74. Air New Zealand shares soared 5.2 percent after the carrier said it has not yet drawn down on the $900 million government loan.

Singapore's Straits Times index was up 1.4 percent despite the government cutting its 2020 economic growth forecast for the third time. The Ministry of Trade and Industry forecast the city-state economy to shrink "-7.0 to -4.0 percent" this year instead of "-4.0 to -1.0 percent projected in March. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat is expected to announce details of a fourth stimulus package.

The Taiwan Weighted was up 1.2 percent. Taiwan's industrial output climbed 3.51 percent year-on-year in April, slower than the 11.18 percent expansion seen in March, official data revealed. Nonetheless, this was the third consecutive increase in production.

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