Chinese Banks Lead Asia Equity Gains as Money Market Rates Rise

  • Rising money market rates in China favoring banking stocks
  • Japanese stocks rose slightly after Jackson Hole summit

Stocks in Hong Kong and China led gains in Asian equity markets as rising money market rates on the mainland boosted sentiment on lenders.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.1 percent to 160.62 as of 4:19 p.m. in Hong Kong, after posting its biggest weekly gain in five weeks. The Philippines market is closed for a holiday.

The Hang Seng Index climbed to its highest since May 2015, before paring its advance, as four of the 10 best performers were financial stocks. Bank of Communications Co. and China Life Insurance Co. gained at least 1 percent. Japan’s Topix rose, boosted by pharmaceutical stocks as investors assessed a meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

“The interest-rate environment in China is going up, the yields are recovering and a lot of the financial companies like banks and insurers are benefiting from this,” Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said by phone. “This week, we should watch the moves from White House on the tax reform plan.”

Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, said in an interview with the Financial Times published Friday that he expects tax reform to pass this year.

Summary

  • Topix +0.2%, Nikkei 225 little changed
    • Japan’s Topix Advances After Jackson Hole Meet, Kuroda Comments
  • Hang Seng Index +0.1%, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index +0.5%
  • Shanghai Composite Index +0.9%, Taiwan’s Taiex index +0.1%
  • Kospi index -0.4%, Kospi 200 Index -0.5%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index -0.6%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 -0.4%
  • Singapore’s Straits Times Index +0.2%, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index little changed, Jakarta Composite Index -0.3%, Vietnam’s VN Index +0.7%, Thailand’s SET Index +0.5%
    • Malaysian Stocks Have Ringgit to Blame Amid Big Outflows: Chart
  • India’s Nifty, Sensex +0.5%
    • Sensex Hits Day’s High as India, China Agree on Doklam Stand-Off
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