Asian Stocks Rally for Second Day as Hong Kong Leads the Charge

  • Philippine shares soar to lead Asia emerging markets rally
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index post biggest gain in seven weeks

Asian equities jumped for a second day as Hong Kong and Philippine equities drove gains in regional markets after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting boosted investors’ optimism.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 1.2 percent as of 4:18 p.m. in Hong Kong, led by telecommunication shares. The benchmark regional gauge is set for its biggest two-day advance since June after a 1.5 percent gain Wednesday. The Hang Seng Index climbed the most in seven weeks as energy companies rallied, while the offshore yuan surged.

Global equities have risen with the dollar since Trump’s election, while the Fed’s latest minutes showed that uncertainties over future fiscal policies weighed heavily in officials’ discussion of the economy and the path of monetary policy.

“President-elect Donald Trump remains an unknown factor in the growth equation even for the Federal Reserve,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte based in Singapore. “A fraction of the committee members were noted to have abstained from accounting for the projected expansion in their forecasts.”

Summary

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index +1.5% as energy companies and insurers rallied
    • Shanghai Composite advanced 0.2%; the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 1.7%
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Asia Index gained for the eighth day, longest winning streak since a 9-day rally in August
  • Japan’s Topix index rose for a third day as telecommunication shares boosted gauge, while the yen’s strength to a three-week high against the dollar weighed on exporters
  • New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index little changed, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index +0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi index -0.2%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +1.4%, set for highest close since Nov. 2015
  • Malaysia’s FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index +0.6%, India’s Sensex Index +0.8%, Taiwan’s Taiex Index +0.8%

For more Asia stock markets news:
Yuan Extends Gains, Hong Kong Lifts Asian Stocks: Markets Wrap
Telecom Stocks Boost Topix, While Autos Slide on Stronger Yen
China Bull Case: Positive Surprises That May Fuel Growth in 2017

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