Asian markets were boosted yesterday on increased confidence in the eurozone after Moody’s held off cutting Spain’s credit rating, while Madrid looked to move closer to asking for a bailout.
A successful bond auction for Greece added to the sense of optimism, while the euro maintained its gains seen in late trade Tuesday as investors sought out riskier assets.
Tokyo jumped 1.21%, or 105.24 points, to 8,806.55, Sydney added 0.82%, or 36.7 points, to 4,528.2 and Seoul was 0.70% higher, adding 13.61 points to 1,955.15.
Hong Kong rose 0.99%, or 209.57 points, to 21,416.64 and Shanghai was up 0.32%, or 6.81 points, at 2,105.62.
In other markets; Singapore closed flat, edging down 1.14 points to 3,045.67; Taipei closed flat, dipping 6.62 points to 7,464.40; Manila closed 0.71%, or 38.44 points, higher at 5,438.38; Wellington rose 0.62%, or 24.48 points, to 3,965.18; Bangkok added 1.07%, or 13.79 points, to 1,301.28; Kuala Lumpur gained 0.43%, or 7.15 points, to 1,660.67; while Jakarta added 0.20%, or 8.45 points, to 4,337.53.
Moody’s gave debt-addled Spain some much-needed room on Tuesday when it held the country’s rating at Baa3, one notch above “junk”, citing the European Central Bank’s willingness to buy government bonds to stabilise its borrowing rate.
It also pointed to Madrid’s commitment to implementing fiscal and structural reforms necessary to improve its finances as well as efforts to restructure the banking sector and strengthen the banks. However, the agency kept it on a “negative outlook”.
Also, a senior Spanish official has said that Madrid was considering a request for a line of credit from Europe’s European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rescue fund, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The comments soothed investors’ fears over Spain as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has so far refused to ask for help, despite the parlous state of the economy, saying he wanted to study the terms of a rescue.
“The latest headlines from Madrid imply that a formal request for aid is inevitable,” said Ashraf Laidi, chief global strategist at City Index.
Greece managed to complete a successful short-term bond auction at lower rates as hopes rise that it will be given a little more breathing space to carry out the much needed reforms to get its economy back on track.
And in Germany, Europe’s key economic driver, the closely-watched ZEW institute’s calculator of investor confidence rose for the second month in a row in October, in line with a slight easing in regional debt concerns.
The main focus this week is on China, where third quarter growth figures are due to be released today, with investors hoping for improved figures and the beginning of a pickup after a slowdown for most of the year.