Asian markets rallied yesterday after the eurozone agreed to lend Spain up to $125bn to save its banks, but analysts warn the deal is just a sticking plaster for Europe’s wider problems.
The weekend also saw China release a mixed bag of data that, despite not being as bad as expected, was unable to soothe dealers concerns over the world’s second biggest economy. But it did provide hope that Beijing will introduce more easing measures.
Tokyo surged 1.96%, or 165.64 points, to 8,624.90 and Seoul jumped 1.71%, or 31.40 points, to end at 1,867.04.
Hong Kong climbed 2.44%, or 451.29 points, to 18,953.63 and Shanghai gained 1.07%, or 24.41 points, to 2,305.86.
Sydney was closed for a public holiday.
After an emergency video conference lasting more than two hours on Saturday, eurozone finance ministers issued a statement saying they were “willing to respond favourably” to a Spanish plea for help for its stricken lenders.
Spain’s Economy Minister Luis de Guindos insisted the handout was not a rescue but a loan that imposes conditions on the banks.
However, it marked a dramatic climbdown for Madrid, which recently denied it needed any outside aid.
EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the Spain deal was critical to reassure jittery markets.
“It is a very clear signal to the market, to the public, that the euro (area) is ready to take decisive action in order to calm down market turbulence and contagion,” Rehn said.
In the first few minutes of trade Madrid soared 5.8%, with Bankia—the lender that asked the government for billions of dollars in aid—rocketing almost 20%.
London’s FTSE rose 1.80%, the Paris CAC 40 surged 1.98% and Frankfurt added 2.04%.
Yesterday’s surge in the stock markets marked a rebound from recent weeks as traders have become nervous about Spain’s precarious financial position as well as a possible Greek exit from the euro area.
The deal was hailed by Germany, France, Japan, China and the US as well as the International Monetary Fund.
“Sentiment is in a risk-on mode and the news is giving the market a sense of relief,” Kengo Suzuki, currency strategist at Mizuho Securities, said.
But Goldman Sachs warned that there were still problems in the eurozone’s financial system.
“(It’s a) positive near-term development for Spain, and in particular for its banks. But it does not solve Spain’s overall fiscal and macroeconomic challenges, which remain substantial”, Goldman said in a research note.
It added that the region’s crisis “continues to be addressed on a country-by-country basis rather than at a systemic level”.
In other markets in Asia, Singapore closed up 1.82%, or 49.92 points, to 2,787.81; Taipei rose 1.72%, or 120.58 points, to 7,120.23; Wellington gained 0.14%, or 4.77 points, to 3,454.24; Manila closed 1.64% higher, adding 81.78 points to 5,075.85; Bangkok rose 2.75%, or 30.97 points, to 1,158.07; and Jakarta advanced 1.07%, or 40.89 points, to 3,866.21.