China leads rise in Asian markets following promise of monetary support
Stocks in Asia Pacific rose on Thursday as fewer new Covid-19 cases were recorded outside of the epicenter in Wuhan, China. Chinese shares emerged as the biggest gainers on the day.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained almost two percent to about 3,071.68, the highest level since February 21. The Shenzhen Composite grew 1.7 percent to approximately 1,929.44.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index grew over two percent, as of its final hour of trading.
Shares in Australia also rose as the S&P/ASX 200 jumped over one percent to close at 6,472.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 1.09 percent higher at 21,329.12 while the Topix Index also gained 0.88 percent to end the trading day at 1,515.71. South Korea’s Kospi closed 1.26 percent higher at 2,085.26.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 1.26 percent higher.
“We’re keeping our portfolios reasonably balanced, there’s plenty of uncertainty still out there as we see… coronavirus cases increase overseas,” senior investment adviser at Escala Partners Ed Brooke told CNBC.
“What’s becoming a little bit more known now is that we are going to see a central bank response and also a government response in fiscal policy,” Brooke said. “That’s helping cushion markets at the moment.”
The rapid spread of coronavirus has prompted policymakers around the world to step up monetary support. The International Monetary Fund announced a $50 billion aid package on Wednesday to combat the impact of the outbreak. The World Bank has pledged $12 billion in aid for developing countries grappling with the spread of Covid-19.
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