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Asian Shares Advance with Hong Kong Stocks Leading the Way

Asian shares advanced with stocks in Hong Kong led gains as markets in Japan and China are closed for holidays.

Additionally, Asian shares had closed higher as investors processed a historic inter-Korea summit. It saw leaders of North Korea and South Korea pledged to achieve peace.

Furthermore, developments on the Korean Peninsula supported sentiment. However, “the devil is in the details (or nuclear disbarment) and economic impact may be slow to follow,” said Vishnu Varathan, head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank.

Asian shares are shown on electronic boards as people are walking by
Asian shares were higher on the last day of trading of April.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 1.03%, adding similar gains on Friday. The index is now prepared for a modest rise this month after 2 losses in a row.

South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index rose 0.92% to 2,515.38. It is set to end April more than 2.5% higher following record profits from Samsung, and a successful Korean summit.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed higher by 049% to 5,982.70. Utilities and heavily weighted financials sub-indexes climbed, recovering slight declines in the materials and energy sector.

Elsewhere, Singapore’s Strait Times index gained 1.2%. It hit a fresh 3-month high, as earnings from the country’s biggest bank sent the sector higher more than 2%.

Meanwhile, first-quarter earnings in the US were strong. Almost 80% of the 276 S&P 500 companies that had reported as of Friday crushed expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Additionally, earnings from the 1st quarter are estimated to rise 24.6% compared to one year ago.

Hang Seng Index led Asian shares rally

After showing a weak performance of late with 2 straight weeks of losses, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.74% to 30,808.45. Asian shares in Hong Kong in the financial sector advanced 2% after China’s central bank said Friday it would give banks and asset managers longer than expected to comply with the new rules.

“It’s a rebound for sure,” said Louise tse Ming-kwong, director of VC Brokerage. “Lots of IPOs are coming into the Hong Kong stock exchange and more Korean peninsula peace talks are on the horizon, pulling stocks up such as Tencent.”

“Banks have also rebounded as investor sentiment changed. The Hang Seng Index is still under 31,000, which is quite resistance, but we want to see how much turnover there is at the end of the day.”

Solid performance from financial and technology stocks help Asian shares in Hong Kong. Insurance giants AIA gained 2% and Ping An Insurance climbed 1.4%. Ping An’s spin-off health care app Ping An Good Doctor raised a massive US$1.1 billion from its anticipated IPO on Friday.

Other Chinese companies are rushing to the Hong Kong IPO trend. Smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is included, which hope to raise at least US$10 billion, according to Bloomberg. In addition, Shanghai Henlius Biotech is planning to raise at least US$500 million, according to Reuters.

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