Asia Stocks Advance as Investors Shun Haven Assets for Equities

  • Financial shares lead gains on French election relief
  • China shares fall most in three months amid leverage crackdown

Asian stocks gained, with Japanese shares jumping, as investors shunned haven assets and embraced equities amid relief after French elections.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3 percent to 147.55 as of 4:20 p.m. in Hong Kong, heading for a three-week high with financial shares leading gains. Japan’s Topix climbed 1 percent as the yen slumped. Gold tumbled after pro-growth centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen won the first round of the French presidential election.
Chinese stocks fell the most in four months amid heightened regulatory scrutiny.

"Overall we’re seeing moves reacting to a retreat in political risk,”said Takuya Takahashi, a Tokyo-based senior strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. “Last week the market had been pricing in a little too much risk.”

Hana Financial Group Inc. surged 7.3 percent for its biggest gain in nine months as the South Korean firm’s first-quarter profit beat estimates. NH Investment & Securities Co. rose 3.3 percent to a one-month high. Tencent Holdings Ltd. climbed 0.7 percent in Hong Kong to a record-high close.


  • Shanghai Composite -1.4%; Shenzhen Composite Index -2.4%
  • Hang Seng Index +0.4%; Hang Seng China Enterprises Index +0.5%
  • South Korea’s Kospi +0.4%; S&P/ASX 200 +0.3%
  • Taiwan’s Taiex little changed; Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.1%
  • The Philippines PSEi +0.1%; Thailand’s SET index -0.1%; Vietnam Stock Index -0.4%; India’s S&P BSE Sensex Index +1%

— With assistance by Yuko Takeo

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