Asian Stocks Recover from Weak Start to Close Broadly Higher

By Dipo Olowookere 

Asian stocks recovered from a weak start to close broadly higher on Tuesday as hopes for Chinese stimulus helped offset fresh worries over the trade war between the U.S. and China.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he thinks there will be ?a great deal? with China on trade but warned of more tariffs if talks next month fail to ease the trade war.

China?s Shanghai Composite Index jumped 25.94 points or 1 percent to 2,568.05 after the securities regulator said it would enhance market liquidity and encourage share buybacks and mergers and acquisitions by listed firms. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 226.51 points or 0.9 percent to 24,585.53.

Japanese shares rose by the most in 2-1/2 months as the yen extended its drop against the dollar and Chinese equities rebounded on fresh attempts by Beijing to stabilize the markets.

The Nikkei 225 Index spiked 307.49 points or 1.5 percent to 21,457.29, marking its biggest single-day gain since mid-August. The broader Topix Index closed 1.4 percent higher at 1,611.46.

Auto companies and banks led the surge, with Honda Motor and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial rising around 2 percent. Machinery maker Yaskawa Electric soared 6.1 percent as Beijing pledged more support for the economy.

Komatsu rallied 6.2 percent after raising its full-year operating profit forecast. Fanuc Corp also advanced 3.4 percent after announcing a special dividend. In the tech sector, Tokyo Electron jumped 6.5 percent and Advantest added 2.2 percent.

In economic news, Japan?s jobless rate fell to 2.3 percent in September from 2.4 percent in August, a government report showed. This was the lowest rate since the early 1990s.

Australian shares rallied to extend gains from the previous session. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index surged up 76.90 points or 1.3 percent to 5,805.10 after jumped 1.1 percent the previous day. The broader All Ordinaries Index advanced 74.10 points or 1.3 percent to 5,887.90.

Firmer copper prices helped lift mining stocks, with heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gaining around 2 percent.

Energy stocks also closed mostly higher even as oil prices dipped for a second day amid signs that Russian oil output will remain high. Beach Energy shares jumped 10.4 percent. In the healthcare sector, infant formula maker Bellamy’s Australia climbed 2.5 percent.

Lender Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp rallied 1.8 percent ahead of its full-year results due Wednesday. Commonwealth and Westpac surged up over 2 percent.

On the other hand, gold miner Evolution Mining lost 2.9 percent and Newcrest dropped 1.5 percent as the precious metal edged lower on dollar strength.

Wealth manager AMP fell 2.1 percent on news that its banking arm will reduce or remove 20 fees to simplify its product offering to customers.

On the data front, Australia’s building approvals rose by seasonally adjusted 3.3 percent in September, slower than the 3.8 percent rise economists had expected, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed. The increase largely reflects a 9.2 percent rise in private dwellings excluding houses.