Asian stocks inch past Fed jitters, Japan rallies on strong earnings

  • Stock Market News
Asian stocks inch past Fed jitters, Japan rallies on strong earnings -- Most Asian stocks rose slightly on Monday with Japanese stocks in the lead on strong quarterly earnings, while focus turned largely to a Federal Reserve meeting this week.

Chinese stocks were the outliers for the day, falling further as concerns over the property market triggered a fresh wave of selling in the country. Investors are now awaiting more stimulus measures from Beijing as Chinese economic growth slows.

Broader Asian markets were awaiting the conclusion of a Fed meeting this Wednesday, where the central bank is widely expected to hike rates by 25 basis points (bps). But focus will be squarely on whether the Fed signals an end to its nearly 16-month-long rate hike cycle, given recent signs of easing U.S. inflation.

A pause in the Fed's rate hike cycle bodes well for risk-heavy stock markets, and could spur more capital flows to Asia in the coming weeks.

Other central bank meetings are also on tap this week, including Bank Indonesia on Tuesday, the European Central Bank on Thursday, and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Friday.  

Japanese stocks surge on strong earnings, BOJ meeting looms

Japan’s Nikkei 225 and the TOPIX were the best performers in Asia on Monday, rising 1.5% and 0.8%, respectively. 

Both indexes were boosted by major automobile stocks following strong earnings from Mitsubishi Motors Corp (TYO: 7211 ), which clocked a 24% jump in its June quarter profit. The stock rose 5.6% and was the best performer on the Nikkei.

Peers Mazda Motor Corp (TYO: 7261 ), Toyota Motor Corp (TYO: 7203 ) and Nissan Motor Co (TYO: 7201 ) rose between 1% and 5%, and are set to report their June quarter earnings in the coming weeks. 

Broader Japanese shares were also aided by anticipation of a BOJ meeting this Friday, with the central bank widely expected to maintain its ultra-dovish stance for the time being. 

Other Asian markets advanced on Monday. South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.8%, while strength in bank stocks helped Australia’s ASX 200 rise 0.2%.

On the other hand, futures for India’s Nifty 50 pointed to a weak open, after the Nifty and the BSESN fell sharply from record highs on Friday. Both indexes are expected to see more profit taking in the coming days.

Chinese stocks lag as property sector tumbles, stimulus in focus 

Chinese stocks lagged their peers for the day, coming under pressure from steep losses in the property sector amid renewed concerns over a debt crunch in the sector. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 1.2%, with real estate firm Country Garden Holdings Company Ltd (HK: 2007 ) among the worst performers on the index as investors questioned its ability to meet its debt obligations.  

China’s blue-chip Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index fell 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite was flat. 

Still, investors were also watching for any more stimulus measures in the country, amid a worsening slowdown in economic growth.


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