Asian stocks rose, with the benchmark index poised to end its longest losing streak since 2002, as China’s central bank joined its European counterpart in boosting liquidity.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by assets, gained 2 percent in Hong Kong. Pioneer Corp. added 1.6 percent after the Japanese maker of car stereos announced job cuts. SJM Holdings Ltd. fell 5.1 percent in Hong Kong, pacing losses among casino shares after Credit Suisse Group AG cut its forecast for Macau gaming revenue.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.2 percent to 144.54 as of 4:14 p.m. in Hong Kong, after falling yesterday for a ninth day to cap the longest stretch of declines since June 2002. The People’s Bank of China is injecting 500 billion yuan ($81 billion) into the nation’s largest banks, according to a government official familiar with the matter.
“Authorities want to make sure they will achieve minimum, acceptable growth by providing more liquidity to banks, and I think the market will view that positively,” said Tim Schroeders, a portfolio manager who helps oversee $1 billion in equities at Pengana Capital Ltd. in Melbourne. “Given the weak data, particularly over the weekend, some sort of stimulus measures were in the wind, but to see this occur overnight, I’d say it’s still a surprise to the market.”
The PBOC will funnel 100 billion yuan each to the five biggest banks for a three-month period, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the measure hasn’t been formally announced.
The weakest Chinese industrial-output expansion since the global financial crisis and moderating investment and retail sales growth, shown in data released Sept. 13, underscore risks of an economic slowdown.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index soared 1 percent and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland stocks traded in the city jumped 1.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.5 percent. Taiwan’s Taiex index advanced 0.7 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.6 percent. India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index added 0.2 percent.
Japan’s Topix index slid 0.5 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 1 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.7 percent, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.9 percent.
Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped less than 0.1 percent today. The measure climbed 0.8 percent yesterday as rising oil prices boosted energy shares.
Investors are also awaiting a Federal Reserve policy statement and press conference Wednesday. Fed officials are considering how much progress toward their goals of full employment and stable inflation would be needed to prompt the first interest-rate increase since 2006. They will outline their outlook for the economy in quarterly projections for growth, unemployment, inflation and the benchmark federal funds rate.
Chinese banks rallied. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China gained 2 percent to HK$5.19 in Hong Kong. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. rose 1.1 percent to HK$3.60 and China Construction Bank Corp. advanced 1.9 percent to HK$5.81.
Pioneer gained 1.6 percent to 314 yen in Tokyo after saying it will cut 10 percent of its workforce and sell its audio equipment business for disc jockeys to private-equity firm KKR & Co.
SJM sank 5.1 percent to HK$16.50 after Credit Suisse cut its 2014 forecast for Macau gaming revenue growth to 1 percent from 5 percent. The brokerage also cut its 2015 target to 8 percent from 11 percent. Sands China Ltd. lost 3.9 percent to HK$42.50 and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. declined 2.6 percent to HK$49.30. Wynn Macau Ltd. dropped 4.1 percent to HK$24.30.
SAI Global Ltd., a provider of training and consulting services, sank 5.6 percent to A$4.18 in Sydney after saying no final offers have been received for the entire company.
The Asia-Pacific gauge traded at 13.6 times estimated earnings as of yesterday compared with 16.7 for the S&P 500 and 15.4 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
© Copyright 2023 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.