Asian markets climbed yesterday as dealers took a breather from a recent heavy sell-off caused by concerns over the debt-ridden eurozone and hoped for a positive outcome from key G7 talks.
With little to drive sentiment after the weekend, analysts said there was an opportunity to buy after most regional bourses fell into negative territory for the first time in 2012.
Traders were looking to a telephone conference call later in the day between finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven to see if they could come up with a plan to quell Europe’s troubles, especially in Spain.
Tokyo finished up 1.04%, or 86.37 points, at 8,382.00, and Hong Kong was up 0.40%, gaining 73.44 points to close at 18,259.03.
Sydney was one of the region’s biggest risers, ending 1.47%, or 58.7 points, higher at 4,043.7, after the central bank cut interest rates.
Seoul closed up 1.05%, or 18.72 points, at 1,801.85, and Chinese shares edged up 0.15%, or 3.37 points, to 2,311.92.
Despite the gains there were still signs of concern over the deteriorating global outlook.
Australia cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 3.50%, citing fears over Europe’s crisis and easing growth in key trade partner China.
It adds to the 50 basis-point cut the Reserve Bank of Australia announced last month and puts rates at a level not seen in the booming mining economy since November 2009.
As well as the G7 talks, markets were looking to a European Central Bank (ECB) rate-setting meeting Wednesday, with investors hoping it will announce moves to kickstart the region’s stuttering economy.
Masaru Hamasaki, chief strategist at Toyota Asset Management, said: “Any mention by leaders of measures to stabilise the state of Europe’s financial system may calm the market, and invite some buying.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called at the weekend for a banking union in Europe, which would be able to provide aid to lenders, especially in Spain, a move that was seeing support in France and at the ECB.
However, Germany remained strongly opposed for the moment.
Global markets have been hammered since the start of May as Europe’s debt troubles returned after a Greek general election saw a strong showing for anti-austerity parties, while Spain’s bank crisis has left the already creaking economy teetering.
On currency markets the euro—which last week hit a 23-month low versus the dollar and a near 12-year low against the yen—slipped a little in early European trade after earlier making up ground in Asia.
Elsewhere, Bangkok fell 1.44%, or 16.04 points, to 1,099.15; Kuala Lumpur ended 0.33%, or 5.18 points, higher, at 1,560.36; Jakarta rose 1.73%, or 63,294 points, to 3,717.876; Singapore closed up 0.50%, or 13.41 points, to 2,712.31; Taipei rose 1.53%, or 105.79 points, to 7,000.45 and Wellington was down 0.90%, or 31.20 points, to 3,420.79.from gulf time.