SYDNEY: Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 5.3 percent, with bank shares posting solid gains after a Chinese central bank official reportedly said Beijing had abandoned its lending caps in a move that could make funneling money to small firms much easier. Hong Kong shares fell 2.5 percent on Friday (October 31), with the index...
SYDNEY: Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbed 5.3 percent, with bank shares
posting solid gains after a Chinese central bank official reportedly said
Beijing had abandoned its lending caps in a move that could make funneling
money to small firms much easier.
Hong Kong shares fell 2.5 percent on Friday (October 31), with the
index posting its worst monthly drop since Oct. 1997 as renewed worries over
the global economy and the outlook for earnings snapped a three-day, 30
Australian stocks rose 5.1 percent, while Japanese markets were closed
for a holiday.
Australian shares, boosted by gains in banks ahead of an expected rate
cut, while heavyweight miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd also gained.
Traders said the market was boosted by expectations Australia's central
bank could cut rates by 50 basis points on Tuesday (November 4). The bank
unexpectedly slashed rates by a full percent in October.
A rise in U.S. stocks amid signs of a thawing in credit market also
helped the market, dealers said.
The benchmark KOSPI in South Korea gained 1.4 percent, boosted by
details on a $11 billion government fiscal stimulus package that officials
said would add a full percentage point to total output.
South Korea unveiled on Monday (November 3) an economic stimulus
package worth at least 14 trillion won ($10.98 billion U.S. dollars) to help
assure a soft landing in Asia's fourth-largest economy in the face of a
looming global recession.
“To maintain jobs and stimulate home consumption, we're planning
to expand fiscal spending by 10 trillion won and investment budget for public
enterprises by 1 trillion won and offer additional tax cuts totalling 3
trillion won,” said South Korea's Finance Minister Kang Man-soo at a news
conference in Gwacheon, south of Seoul.
It also said it would sharply raise the size of bond sales to fund
intervention in the foreign exchange market and offer a state guarantee on
foreign-currency deposits at local financial institutions.
“If these measures are promoted properly, the country's economic
growth in next year will be lifted by an additional 1 percentage point to
around 4 percent,” said Kang.
The economy would see annual growth fall to around 3 percent next year
without the measures from an early 4 percent level estimated for this year,
the ministry said.
The ministry said it expects the country's current account to swing to
a surplus of about $5 billion in 2009 after posting its first annual deficit
in 11 years of about $10 billion this year.
The measures were announced hours after government figures showed that
the country's exports posted their slowest annual growth in 13 months in
They are still subject to approval from the parliament, in which the
ruling Grand National Party holds a majority.