China Data Boosts Asian Shares, Nikkei Sprints On Olympics

Upbeat Chinese trade and inflation data lifted Chinese shares to three-month highs and boosted regional shares on Monday, while Japanese shares rallied and the yen dropped after Tokyo won its bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The dollar licked its wounds and U.S. debt yields were off two-year highs after a disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday, which raised speculation the Federal Reserve may minimize the size of a likely reduction in stimulus many investors expect later this month.

European shares are expected to open slightly firmer, with both Germany’s DAX .GDAXI and Britain’s FTSE .FTSE seen rising about 0.1 percent, though concerns about U.S. intentions to strike Syria over its alleged use of chemical weapons could cap the gains.

Mainland Chinese shares surged after Chinese August inflation data added to optimism following solid trade figures published on Sunday.

The CSI300 .CSI300 index of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen A-share listings jumped 3.4 percent, hitting its highest level since early June.

“Market sentiment has been turning more and more positive, with the A-share market strong. But there’s still not a lot of fresh buying,” said Jackson Wong, Tanrich Securities’ vice-president for equity sales.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.9 percent, with both Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index .HSI and Seoul’s Kospi .KS11 hitting their highest level in about three months.

China’s exports grew 7.2 percent in August, above market expectations of a 6.0 percent rise from a year earlier.

That was followed by data showing consumer inflation held steady in August while producer price deflation continued to ease, another sign of a stabilizing economy.

Investors are bracing for more data from China including industrial production and retail sales on Tuesday. ECONCN

Japan’s Nikkei share average .N225 gained 2.5 percent, hitting a one-month high as investors bet hosting the Olympics would boost the economy — through construction and higher prices — by 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) over the coming seven years.

“In the short-term, this (Olympics-bid win) will be positive mainly through a boost on Olympic-related shares,” said Ryota Sakagami, chief equity strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities in a report.

“In the longer run, its impact depends on how much the government can push for infrastructure investments and promotion of tourism business but it is likely to be positive for the Japanese economy and shares,” he said.


But investors are also grappling with worries that withdrawal of the Fed’s stimulus could destabilize asset prices worldwide.

Despite the soft job data, most U.S. primary dealers expect the Fed to announce at its next policy meeting September 17 and 18 that it will cut the extent of its bond purchases, according to a Reuters poll on Friday.

“Although the U.S. job data was disappointing on the whole, the jobless rate fell, inching closer to the 7.0 percent level, which the Fed said is a threshold to end the quantitative easing,” said Tohru Yamamoto, chief fixed-income strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“The Fed will start tapering in September, perhaps little by little, like by $10 billion. It is hard to expect bond yields to fall before the next Fed meeting,” he added.

Others think the Fed could trim its monthly bond buying from the current $85 billion to an even more modest $5 billion.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yields stood at 2.940 percent, off a two-year high just above 3 percent hit on Friday.

The dollar index stood at 82.25 .DXY, steadying from Friday’s 0.6 percent fall. The euro fetched $1.3175, off Friday’s seven-week low of $1.31045.

Against the yen, the dollar briefly rose to as high as 100.11 yen thanks largely to its strong correlation to Japanese shares, but quickly gave up gains on profit-taking to stand at 99.65 yen for a gain of 0.5 percent from late last week.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures slipped slightly but stayed near two-year highs supported by concerns a possible military strike against Syria could stir broader conflict in the Middle East and disrupt oil supplies.

Source : Reuters