Asian shares mostly up on China bank report

GMT 03:22 2014 Wednesday ,17 September

Arab Today, arab today Asian shares mostly up on China bank report

Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Hong Kong - AFP

Asian markets mostly rose on Wednesday, with Hong Kong leading the way on reports that China's central bank had pumped more than $80 billion into the country's five biggest lenders, while traders also awaited a US Federal Reserve policy decision.
A rally on Wall Street increased buying incentives, with US shares helped by the China report as well as a feeling that the Fed will not announce a significant shift in its monetary policy after its meeting.
Hong Kong surged 1.01 percent and Shanghai was 0.24 percent higher, while Tokyo rose 0.16 percent and Seoul put on 0.68 percent. However, Sydney eased 0.22 percent.
A report on portal Sina said the People's Bank of China would inject 500 billion yuan ($81 billion) into the five top state-owned banks, with a view to boosting lending to businesses.
The move is a major stimulus injection following a string of weak data -- including on trade and industrial output -- that has raised questions about the state of the world's number two economy and key driver of regional and global growth.
The injection, a three-month low-interest rate loan, is similar to a 0.5 percentage point cut to the ratio of cash China's entire banking system must keep in reserve, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
"Given policymakers have shown a willingness to loosen in the face of weaker data, we believe growth will rebound in the coming months," said a report by Goldman Sachs.
The news boosted US shares, with the Dow up 0.59 percent, the S&P 500 gaining 0.75 percent and the Nasdaq also adding 0.75 percent.
Tuesday's pick-up in New York was helped by receding expectations the Fed will adopt a more hawkish tone at Wednesday's meeting.
Investors globally have been pulling their cash off the table recently on speculation the bank will bring forward its timetable for hiking interest rates as the economy picks up speed.
The Fed has previously said it would keep interest rates low for a "considerable time" after ending its massive stimulus programme.
An increase could hit Asian equities and currencies by making them vulnerable to a sell-off, as the incentive for investors to seek higher yields in regional markets is reduced.
However, there are still concerns about the US economy among many investors, with some suggesting the bank will stick to its cautious approach.
In foreign exchange trade the dollar was at 107.18 yen in Asia, compared with 107.15 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon. The euro bought $1.2953 and 138.92 yen against $1.2957 and 138.85 yen.
The pound was moving narrowly against the dollar a day before Scotland's knife-edge independence vote, which could lead to the break-up of the United Kingdom and hammer its economy.
The pound fetched $1.6261, against $1.6268.
On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery fell 15 cents to $94.73 while Brent crude for November eased 12 cents to $98.93.
Gold was at $1,237.62 an ounce, against $1,241.18 an ounce late Monday.


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