China forecast-beating numbers pushes most Asian markets up
HONG Kong led most major Asian markets higher yesterday, with data indicating forecast-beating growth in Chinese factory activity providing a boost but uncertainty over the US presidential race keeping investors on edge.
“The market has turned more positive and confident that China’s economy will stabilise in the fourth quarter,” Linus Yip, a Hong Kong-based strategist at First Shanghai Securities, told Bloomberg News.
“After a correction in Hong Kong and being at a relatively low level, the market needed some stimulus to gain power and the China figures helped trigger that.”
Hong Kong stocks closed up 0.9 percent, having retreated almost 3pc in the previous five days. Shanghai ended up 0.7pc and Tokyo reversed early losses to end 0.1pc higher. Singapore put on 0.4pc in late trade.
But Sydney shed 0.5pc and Seoul was slightly lower while Wellington and Taipei also finished lower. Confidence is still fragile after the bombshell news that with just under two weeks to the election, the FBI was investigating additional emails connected to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Wall Street’s preferred candidate.
“There is a lot of uncertainty,” Tony Farnham, a Sydney-based strategist at Patersons Securities, said. “There’s plenty happening over the next week and there’s a degree of caution around the key events.”
The dollar edged up later in the day against the yen after the Bank of Japan once again pushed back its inflation timeline.
The central bank now expects prices to move “towards” 2pc by March 2019 – four years later than its original goal, which was set by governor Haruhiko Kuroda in 2013. Analysts said the move could mean the BoJ will hold off new easing until late next year to give prices time to pick up.
Investors were also keeping an eye on a string of possible market-moving events this week, including gatherings of the Federal Reserve and Bank of England. –