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28 February 2024

Asian stocks rebound on positive rescue plans


By Agencies

Asian stocks rose for the first time in three days on optimism China and Japan will widen efforts to bolster growth in the region's two largest economies.

Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.9 per cent to 7,290.96. China's Shanghai Composite Index surged 6.1 per cent, the most in four months.

Hong Kong shares rallied, lifting the benchmark stock gauge from a four-month low after an ex-official said China was to propose a new stimulus package yesterday.

The Hang Seng Index climbed 297.27, or 2.5 per cent, to 12,331.15 at the close of trading, reversing a 1.3 per cent slump. It was the gauge's first advance in five days as it rallied from the lowest level since October 27. The Hang Seng China Enterprise Index, which tracks so-called H-shares, jumped five per cent to 6,948.37, its biggest gain since January 29.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 1.6 per cent, after the statistics office said gross domestic product shrank in the fourth quarter for the first time in eight years.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added one per cent to 72.52 in Tokyo, snapping a two-day, 4.5 per cent decline. The measure slumped 19 per cent this year, extending 2008's record 43 per cent tumble, as recessions in the world's largest economies hurt earnings at companies.

Toyota slumped 2.5 per cent to 2,985 yen in Tokyo, while Honda Motor dropped 3.5 per cent to 2,205 yen. Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest automaker, rose three per cent to 50,500 won in Seoul as it managed to limit the drop in US sales by offering buyers record incentives. Hyundai's sales fell 1.5 per cent.

Mitsubishi Estate gained 3.9 per cent to 993 yen. Seven & I Holdings, Japan's largest retailer, climbed 2.9 per cent to 2,100 yen.

China Mobile climbed 3.2 per cent to HK$67.70 in Hong Kong, while Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the nation's biggest lender, surged 7.6 per cent to HK$3.26.