Asian Shares Rise On Fed Optimism, China Stimulus

Asian stocks rose broadly on Monday after mixed data released on Friday suggested the Federal Reserve is done with raising interest rates.

The Fed is now expected to hold rates steady for the rest of the year if the job market and the broader economy continue to slow.

Chinese and Hong Kong markets led regional gains after China’s top economic planner said it would establish a designated department to bolster the country’s faltering private economy.

Real estate stocks surged after news late last week of a deal to avert possible default at Country Garden.

China’s Shanghai Composite index rallied 1.40 percent to 3,177.06 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 2.51 percent to 18,844.16, while Country Garden shares surged nearly 15 percent in Hong Kong.

Japanese shares hit new highs, with a weaker yen, signs of a resilient U.S. economy and the announcement of new stimulus measures in China helping underpin investor sentiment.

The Nikkei average climbed 0.70 percent to 32,939.18 while the broader Topix index settled 1.02 percent higher at 2,373.73- renewing a 33-year high led by economically sensitive stocks such as automakers.

Both indexes extended gains for a sixth straight session, marking the longest run since mid-May. Honda Motor, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors jumped 2-3 percent.

Seoul stocks ended higher for a second day running, with the Kospi average closing 0.81 percent higher at 2,584.55 on easing worries about additional tightening by the Fed. Steelmaker POSCO Holdings soared 5.4 percent and energy firm SK Innovation added 2 percent.

Australian markets advanced ahead of a Reserve Bank of Australia rate decision on Tuesday, with the central bank likely to keep rates on pause, citing slowing inflation in recent months.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 rose 0.56 percent to 7,318.80 while the broader Topix index ended up 1.02 percent at 2,373.73. Mining giant BHP gained 2.7 percent after a Brazilian court had approved its plans to reorganize its Samarco joint venture.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 index slipped 0.14 percent to 11,513.04.

U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on Friday and notched a weekly gain after data showed the labor market cooling and wage growth slowing, supporting optimism the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its tightening cycle.

Separate data showed U.S. manufacturing contracted for a 10th straight month in August.

The Dow edged up 0.3 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished marginally lower.

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