This is turning out to be a good week, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index leading the market. As the Hong Kong markets riding high and the fact that the US markets were reaching record highs on Monday also helped bolster the Asian markets. Upbeat industrial data from the US has also helped buoy the markets. The Institute for Supply Management read its report on Monday with regard to US manufacturing performances for the month of September. It surpassed all market expectations, sending stocks soaring the US.
The Hong Kong markets were closed on Monday, so they basically caught up with the rest of the Asian market on Tuesday. Markets in China will be closed the entire week for the mid-autumn festival as well as the Chinese national day. South Korean markets are also closed this entire week for a “temporary holiday”. The Indian markets were also closed at the beginning of the week.
Hong Kong Markets Riding High
The Hang Seng opened the fourth quarter with a gain of 1.6% on Tuesday. By the end of the day, the Index had logged a 2.2% gain. The Hang Seng saw a rise in stocks, with major car manufacturer Geely leading the gains by a 7.3% rise. This was after the car maker was upgraded by Morgan Stanley from “neutral” to “overweight”. Tencent, the Asian tech giant, went up by 2.2% and the bank HSBC was up by 1%.
By Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was almost touching a 10-year high. Wednesday turned out to be the Index’s best level in the last 2.5 years. The Hang Seng logged another 1% increase on Wednesday’s early trading. Had the index managed to sustain that increase at closing (or even 0.9%), it would have been the markets’ highest gain in 10 years. Sadly, the Hang Seng closed at gain of 0.7%, just missing the 10-year-high mark.
Hong Kong’s market has been one of the best performing in the world this year, with the Hang Seng rising 30% year to date. This is largely due to the massive gains made by the big Chinese property developers as well as Tencent Holdings doing so well.
The Hang Seng will be closed for trading on Thursday, while the Taiwan markets was closed on Wednesday.The Hong Kong markets are riding high as the stats shows us very clearly.
In other news in Asian markets, the Nikkei is also making gains thanks to the strengthening dollar. On Tuesday, the Nikkei went up by 0.8% due to this. In fact, due to the weaker yen, exporter stocks also went up, with Toyota going up about 0.6%, Nissan Motor jumping up a nice 1.1%, Mazda gaining about 0.6% and Honda also gaining about the same 0.6%.
The Bank of Japan released the results of its “Tankan” survey. According to this survey, confidence amongst the Japanese businesses, especially the large manufacturers in the country has improved in the last three month. However, analysts are predicting that in the next three months, this confidence will go down somewhat.
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The Australian markets have been struggling the entire year, lagging behind other markets in the world. It continued its downward trend (unlike the other Asian markets) and the country’s stock index, the S&P/ASX 200 (XJO) went down 0.9%.
Thailand stock market’s SET Index also saw a 1.1% jump. This took the country’s stock index to 1,689.93, a high that almost touched the levels last seen in 1993.
Oil was a weak point in all markets after readings from the US Inventory data showed not so great results. The global Brent futures, the global crude oil benchmark, were down by 0.7%. US crude oil futures also showed a slide of 0.6%, coming down, once again, to $50 per barrel.