Asian Shares Gain On Chinese Stimulus Hopes

Asian stocks advanced on Monday as weak Chinese data spurred hopes of more policy stimulus and the Bank of Japan stepped into the bond market to influence rates.

Investors also embraced the latest economic data from the U.S. showing an easing in wage costs and core inflation.

Chinese shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closing 0.5 percent higher at 3,291.04 after the State Council announced further measures to bolster consumption.

Chinese manufacturing activity fell for a fourth straight month in July, while the services and construction sectors teetered on the brink of contraction, official data showed.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.8 percent to 20,078.94, led by gains in the tech sector.

Japanese shares led regional gains as the yen extended its drop on the back of Bank of Japan’s intervention in the bond market to influence rates. Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off disappointing industrial production and retail sales data.

The Nikkei 225 Index hit a four-week high before settling 1.3 percent higher at 33,172.22. The broader Topix Index closed 1.4 percent higher at 2,322.56.

Toyota Group logistics company Toyota Tsusho jumped almost 10 percent after it teamed up with SKC for a copper foil joint venture.

Industrial robot maker Fanuc slumped 7.3 percent after posting lower quarterly profit. Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing gained 2 percent and chip-making equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron added 1.6 percent.

Seoul stocks rose notably, with battery makers and online platform companies leading the surge. The Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 2,632.58 as disappointing Chinese data supported stimulus hopes.

Battery maker LG Energy Solution jumped 3.3 percent and search engine Naver soared 7.6 percent.

Australian markets fluctuated before finishing marginally higher as caution crept in ahead of the Reserve Bank’s cash rate decision due on Tuesday. Consumer staples were among the worst performers while healthcare stocks finished broadly higher.

IGO led lithium stocks lower, plunging 4.6 percent despite posting record quarterly earnings.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index climbed 0.9 percent to 12,056.15.

U.S. stocks rose on Friday and ended the week with gains, as top tech firms reported encouraging earnings results and the Fed’s favorite inflation gauge slowed to a two-year low in June, easing concerns about the outlook for interest rates.

The Dow edged up half a percent, the S&P 500 climbed 1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.9 percent.

Source: Read Full Article