Monday 27 March 2017

Japanese stock market makes biggest one-day gain since 2008

A pedestrian holding her umbrella is reflected on an electronic board showing the Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino
A pedestrian holding her umbrella is reflected on an electronic board showing the Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Nichola Saminather and Lisa Twaronite

Asian shares extended a global rally on Wednesday, with markets in China stabilising and Japanese stocks posting their biggest one-day gain since the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.

Japan's Nikkei soared 7.7 per cent, its biggest single-day gain since October 2008, apparently galvanized by hopes of corporate tax cuts. In the previous session, the Nikkei lost 2.4 per cent and wiped out its year-to-date gain.

The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also rallied hard, rising 3 per cent as of 0534 GMT, with gains across all the major indices.

The Shanghai Composite index climbed 2.3 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 3.5 percent in further signs of stability.

But trading in mainland stocks and index futures remained thin, reflecting persistent investor caution, as well as the side effects of the tough medicine prescribed for China's ailing stock market.

Chinese shares rose late on Tuesday after negotiating some dour economic news in the form of a bigger-than-expected drop in imports. The trade data raised fears that China's slowdown could be sharper than many had expected, which in turn raised hopes that Beijing would muster more easing steps to prevent a hard landing.

"With many markets having been sold off heavily over recent weeks, today’s rally, like the U.S. last night, represents a speculative bounce," said Angus Gluskie, managing director of White Funds Management in Sydney.

"The market will remain susceptible to a return of negativity until we see signs of some improvement in the original causes of weakness, which were predominantly Chinese growth concerns," he said.

The dollar put in a mixed performance, rising 0.2 percent against a basket of six rival currencies to 96.142, and slipping 0.4 percent against the euro to $1.1160.

But the greenback firmed about 0.5 percent against the yen to 120.43 as the improved market mood tempered the appeal of the safe-haven Japanese currency.

The euro also gained on the yen, rising 0.2 percent to 134.40.

Crude oil futures gained but remained at low levels on lingering concerns about a global supply glut.

US crude rose 0.3 percent to $46.20 ahead of weekly crude inventories data due from industry group American Petroleum Institute later in the session.

Brent crude added 0.9 percent to $49.95, after jumping 4 percent the previous session.

Reuters

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