China, HK stocks track Asian market rally on US rate-cut optimism


  • Business
  • Friday, 19 Jul 2019

SHANGHAI: China and Hong Kong stocks followed Asian shares higher on Friday, after a comment from top Federal Reserve official cemented expectations of a US interest rate cut later this month, fuelling risk appetite.

Investor sentiment was also aided by reports that China-US trade talks have resumed, as well as on news that China is considering broadening an inbound investment channel by foreign investors.

The CSI300 index rose 1.3% to 3,815.95 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 1% to 2,930.58 points.

The Hang Seng index added 1.1% to 28,772.46 points, while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 1.4% to 10,929.72.

 New York Fed President John Williams said on Thursday that policymakers could not wait for an economic disaster to hit before adding stimulus, in a speech read as a strong argument in favour of quick monetary action. ** The comments by 

Williams made it a virtual certainty the U.S. Fed would cut interest rates by 25 basis points at its July 30-31 policy meeting and also fuelled expectations of an even deeper 50 basis point reduction.

Markets gained after U.S. and Chinese officials spoke by telephone on Thursday as the world's two largest economies seek to end a year-long trade war. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested in-person talks could follow.

Meanwhile, mood in mainland market was lifted after China's foreign exchange regulator said it was considering increasing or even scrapping quotas under cross-border investment scheme QFII.

China's CSI300 financial sector sub-index gained 1.7%, the consumer staples sector up 1.3%, the real estate index rose 3.12% and the healthcare sub-index climbed 0.34%.

Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 1.35% at 10,929.72, while the Hang Seng Index was up 1.09% at 28,772.46. The smaller Shenzhen index rose 1.16% and the start-up board ChiNext Composite index traded higher by 1.19%. 

Around the region, MSCI's Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 1.01%, while Japan's Nikkei index rose 1.94%.

The yuan was quoted at 6.8736 per U.S. dollar, 0.1% firmer than the previous close of 6.8805. The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Taiyuan Chemical Industry Co Ltd, up 10.04%, followed by Beijing 

Jingcheng Machinery Electric Co Ltd , gaining 9.94% and Sichuan Western Resources Holding Co Ltd, up by 9.94%. 

The largest percentage losses in the Shanghai index were China Satellite Communications Co Ltd, down 5.43%, followed by Guangdong Ellington Electronics Technology Co Ltd , losing 5.39% and Aerospace Communications Holdings Co Ltd, down 

by 5.34%. - Reuters
   

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