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Asian Shares Join Global Rally As Brexit Worries Ebb

by June 29, 2016 General
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) – Asian stocks joined a global rebound on Wednesday as oil extended overnight gains and solid U.S. economic data as well as hopes of stimulus offset worries about the economic effects of Brexit on the global economy. The British pound held steady and safe-haven assets retreated after strong overnight gains across U.S. and Europe.

Investors pushed back bets on U.S. rate increases after U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell said the Brexit result has introduced new uncertainties into the global outlook. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today pledged broad policy support to achieve market stability.

Oil extended overnight gains, with the threat of union strikes by Norwegian oil and gas workers and expectations of another drop in U.S. crude inventories providing support to prices.

China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 19.03 points or 0.65 percent to 2,931.59, a three-week high, as authorities moved to calm investors. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 263.66 points or 1.31 percent to finish at 20,436.12, following a rally in global equities.

The yuan held steady, hovering near its 5-1/2-year low against the dollar, after China’s two main official securities newspapers said market expectations for the currency remained basically stable with no signs of panic selling.

Japan’s Nikkei index climbed 243.69 points or 1.59 percent to 15,566.83 as the safe-haven yen steadied and the global markets returned to a semblance of normality. The broader Topix index closed 1.88 percent higher at 1,247.69.

Exporters Toyota Motor, Sharp Corp, Sony and Toshiba climbed 3-6 percent while banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial rose about 2 percent each. Oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan slumped 6.5 percent on news that its founding family is opposed to its planned merger with Showa Shell Sekiyu KK.

In economic releases, Japanese retail sales fell more than expected last month, underscoring the challenge Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces in stimulating growth. Retail sales fell an annual 1.9 percent in May versus 1.6 percent decline forecast by analysts.

Australian shares snapped a two-day losing streak as Brexit fears faded and commodities gained ground on a weaker dollar. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 rose 39.13 points or 0.77 percent to 5,142.40 and the broader All Ordinaries gained 41.30 points or 0.80 percent to finish at 5,221.

The big four banks rose between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent. Asset manager BT Investment Management, which has exposure to the U.K., rallied 5.6 percent on bargain hunting after having lost nearly 27 percent since the Brexit verdict.

Mining giant Rio Tinto rose 1.4 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded its rating on the stock. Rival BHP Billiton added 1.5 percent and Fortescue Metals Group gained 0.9 percent. Energy stocks Origin Energy, Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum gained 1-2 percent after crude prices jumped more than 3 percent overnight.

Gold miner Evolution Mining dropped 2.5 percent after the precious metal fell for the first time in three sessions. Property stocks GPT Group and Dexus Property dropped over 2 percent each after data showed the sale of new homes in Australia declined for a second consecutive month in May. Shares of Vocus Communications were placed in a trading halt, pending a capital raising.

Seoul shares extended gains for the third day after governments and central banks the world over pledged liquidity support to absorb Brexit shock. The benchmark Kospi average rallied 20.14 points or 1.04 percent to close at 1,956.36, led by large-cap stocks with LG Chem climbing nearly 8 percent.

New Zealand’s NZX-50 index closed 87.63 points or 1.30 percent higher at 6,804.21 after Finance Minister Bill English said the country is better placed than most to manage any turmoil generated by the Brexit vote.

Elsewhere, benchmark indexes in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan were up between half a percent and 1.6 percent.

On Wall Street, stocks surged the most in nearly four months overnight, as Brexit fears eased, oil prices climbed and improved GDP and consumer confidence data spurred optimism about the economy.

The Dow rose 1.6 percent after tumbling more than 850 points over the past two sessions. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rallied 2.1 percent and the S&P 500 added 1.8 percent.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX