Asian shares up as bank crisis fears ease

HONG KONG (AFP): Most Asian markets traded higher on Tuesday (March 28) after global shares rebounded, with fears of a banking crisis easing thanks to the sale of fallen lender Silicon Valley Bank.

European stocks had rallied and two of the three main Wall Street indexes advanced the previous day on news that North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank had agreed to take over most of SVB.

The gains were led by rises in bank shares, following a rout last week over concerns that the turmoil in the sector could hit other major institutions, such as German giant Deutsche Bank.

Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank, said Tuesday that the acquisition by First Citizens had "helped set a positive tone" in global markets.

"Together with the absence of new scare stories over the weekend, banking shares have driven a rally across most major equity indices," he wrote in a note.

Hong Kong shares were up 0.5 per cent mid-morning, Sydney rallied 1.1 per cent and Seoul rose 0.4 per cent. Jakarta gained 0.3 per cent and Singapore was up 0.3 per cent.

Tokyo finished the morning session almost flat, with Shanghai also little moved, while Taipei dropped 0.8 per cent.

On Monday, the World Bank warned that an anticipated economic slowdown in China is likely to drag global growth down to its lowest level this century as it proposed measures to prevent a "lost decade" of growth.

"We've grown used to China being the tractor of the global economy, and that will have to change because China's growth rate is going to go down over time," World Bank Chief Economist Indermit Gill said.

After last week's tumult, traders were taking the opportunity to regroup, SPI Asset Management's Stephen Innes said Tuesday.

"US stocks are trading moderately higher, and bonds lower Monday as bank stresses relax a bit further," he said.

"This allows investors more breathing room to position ahead of a busy end-of-the-month data week docket and an even busier April" as first-quarter earnings approach.

"While last week's hurricane could still provide significant headwinds due to the reduced availability of credit to the real economy, there is a growing recognition that this could help the Fed inflation fight by keeping growth below potential despite China reopening amid an improving backdrop in Europe," Innes added.

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Asian , equities , March 28


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