Markets gain amid stimulus hopes
European shares rose Monday, shrugging off unease over the Greek debt situation and renewed signs of weakness in the U.S. economy, after Shanghai’s benchmark jumped nearly 5 percent on expectations of new stimulus measures.
Germany’s DAX edged 0.2 percent higher to 11,434.89 and the United Kingdom’s FTSE picked up 0.1 percent to 6,992.60. France’s CAC-40 added 0.6 percent to 5,035.62.
Wall Street looked poised to recoup Friday’s losses which were triggered by news that the U.S. economy shrank in the first three months of the year. Dow futures were up 0.2 percent at 18,042.00. S&P 500 futures added 0.1 percent to 2,108.20.
Greece’s negotiations with its European creditors on reforms it must make to get a vital 7.2 billion euro (US$7.8 billion) payment from the bailout plan keeping it afloat dragged on past the weekend. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke with the French and German leaders on Sunday in their second conference call in three days to discuss progress in the talks, Greek officials said.
Tokyo stocks rose again, extending the benchmark index’s rise to a 12th straight day, its longest in more than a quarter of a century. The Nikkei 225 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange spent much of the day in negative territory before edging up 0.03 percent, or 6.72 points, at the close to 20,569.87.
That marked its longest winning streak since a 13-day run in February 1988 during the height of Japan’s stock market bubble.
The broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 0.29 percent, or 4.91 points, to 1,678.56. Dealers said the market was taking an upbeat view on Japanese firms’ recent earnings.
Toyota closed 0.97 percent lower to 8,520 yen, Sony fell 1.02 percent to 3822.5 yen while Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ rose 1.50 percent to 935 yen and Toshiba was up 3.28 percent to 450 yen, after the leading Nikkei business daily said the conglomerate may restore a dividend cancelled in the wake of an accounting probe.
But Sydney dropped 0.72 percent, or 41.8 points, to close at 5,735.4 and Seoul fell 0.59 percent, or 12.43 points, to 2,102.37.
Singapore, Wellington and Bangkok were closed for public holidays.
Hong Kong shares closed 0.63 percent higher, while Shanghai surged almost 5 percent after official data indicated a pick-up in Chinese manufacturing activity in May.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 172.97 points to 27,597.16 on turnover of HK$164.84 billion (US$21.27 billion).
In mainland China the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index surged 4.71 percent, or 217.00 points, to end at 4,828.74 on turnover of 934.5 billion yuan (US$152.7 billion).
The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, gained 4.79 percent, or 133.71 points, to 2,926.96 on turnover of 829.9 billion yuan.
Shanghai plunged 6.5 percent on Thursday due to concerns over stricter requirements by securities firms for margin trading — through which investors borrow money to trade stocks.
In a report released on Friday, China’s central bank said it would continue to promote stable and healthy development of the stock market as it looks to strengthen the role of the financial markets to stabilize economic growth.
Securities firms were among the biggest gainers in Shanghai. Citic Securities jumped 7.05 percent to 32.51 yuan while China Merchant Securities added 5.47 percent to 31.98 yuan.
Banks also rose in Shanghai. Banking giant ICBC gained 3.16 percent to 5.23 yuan while China Construction Bank advanced 5.02 percent to 6.69 yuan.
Gold fetched US$1,185.80 compared with US$1,190.33 late Friday. In other markets: — Manila ended 1.19 percent, or 89.91 points, higher at 7,670.37.
— Jakarta ended down 0.05 percent, or 2.56 points, at 5,213.82.
Miner Aneka Tambang gained 1.97 percent to 775 rupiah, while Indonesian cigarette manufacturer Gudang Garam fell 0.21 percent to 47,000 rupiah.
— Kuala Lumpur ended down 0.24 percent, 4.11 points, at 1,743.41.
British American Tobacco fell 1.77 percent to 60.90 ringgit, Genting Malaysia lost 0.24 percent to 4.24 ringgit while Public Bank added 0.22 percent to 18.54 ringgit.
— Mumbai rose marginally by 0.07 percent, or 20.55 points, to end at 27,848.99.
Engineering major Larsen Toubro rose 3.03 percent to 1,705.50 rupees, while Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fell 8.99 percent to 878.95 rupees.