Stocks edge up on BOJ policy shift
Chinese mainland stocks rose slightly on Wednesday, aided by strength in property and financial stocks, although the general mood remained cautious.
The market was also underpinned by a surge in major steelmakers as investors bet on the next target of government-led restructuring, after the disclosure of merger plans between Baoshan Iron and Steel andWuhan Iron and Steel.
The blue-chip CSI300 index rose 0.3 percent to 3,266.64 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.1 percent to 3,025.87 points.
Angang Steel jumped 4.8 percent, while shares of Bengang Steel Plates surged 6.4 percent. Maanshan Iron & Steel gained 2.8 percent.
In the Hong Kong market, shares also rose as Asian markets were cheered by the Bank of Japan’s decision to overhaul its policy framework, with investors’ focus now shifting to the US Federal Reserve’s meeting later in the global day.
The market has also been bolstered by strong mainland money inflows. The Hang Seng index rose 0.6 percent to 23,669.90 points.
“There’s not much volatility in the market, so investors who have lost their sense of direction are looking elsewhere for investment opportunities,” said Linus Yip, strategist at First Shanghai Securities Ltd.
On Wednesday, mainland investors bought 3.8 billion yuan ($569.60 million) of Hong Kong stocks via the Shanghai-Hong Kong Connect Program, sustaining the pace of inflows over the past month.
The Bank of Japan overhauled its monetary policy framework earlier in the day, switching to targeting interest rates, after more than three years of massive money printing and bond buying did little to jolt the economy out of a decades-long funk.
Markets are now watching out for the US Federal Reserve policy decision and clues on its rate outlook.
Both hawkish and dovish comments fromFedofficials have stoked volatility in financial markets, although consensus is now centered on a US rate hike in December.