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Asian stocks rise on China stimulus cheer, tech strength

Published 05/19/2024, 11:17 PM
© Reuters.

Investing.com-- Most Asian stocks rose on Monday as markets welcomed stimulus measures in China, while technology-heavy indexes also advanced as investors bought into the sector ahead of key earnings this week.

Most regional markets were sitting on gains from last week as some soft U.S. inflation readings ramped up hopes that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year. Wall Street hit record highs last week, with U.S. stock index futures rising further in Asian trade on Monday. 

Focus this week is also on more cues from the minutes of the Fed’s late-April meeting, as well as addresses from a slew of Fed officials. 

Chinese stocks at 2024 peaks as markets weigh stimulus measures

China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes rose 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively, on Monday, extending gains from last week. Both indexes were at seven and eight-month highs. 

Beijing had rolled out a string of supportive measures for the economy- specifically the property market last week, as it moved to shore up a sluggish economic recovery.

China had loosened home buying restrictions across several major cities, and had also reportedly instructed state governments to begin buying up houses.

China also kept its benchmark loan prime rate at record lows on Monday. 

But gains in Chinese markets were limited, especially after middling economic readings for April. Retail spending and capital investment in the country still remained weak, likely necessitating more stimulus measures from Beijing. 

Fears of a renewed trade war with Washington also weighed, after Beijing banned some U.S. firms from importing and exporting activities related to China. The move was seen as potential retaliation for a recent increase in U.S. tariffs on key Chinese industries.

Tech advances with Nvidia earnings in sight 

Tech-heavy indexes were among the better performers for the day. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 1.3%, while South Korea’s KOSPI and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively. 

Investors bought into the sector ahead of quarterly earnings from artificial intelligence darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), due this Wednesday, for more cues on whether demand for the growing industry remained strong. 

Nvidia is seen as a bellwether for the tech industry, especially given its growing exposure to the AI industry over the past year. The firm had effectively led an AI-driven spike in valuations across the tech sector. 

Tech stocks were also sitting on some gains from last week after optimism over declining U.S. interest rates pushed down Treasury yields. 

Broader Asian markets also advanced. A rally in copper and other metal prices saw Australia’s ASX 200 rise 0.6% on strength in mining stocks. 

Thailand’ SET Index rose 0.2% as gross domestic product data showed the economy grew much more than expected in the first quarter. 


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