Asia close: Stocks mostly higher on the back of gains on Wall Street

by | Jul 31, 2023

(Sharecast News) – Stocks across Asia Pacific were mostly higher at the start of the week, taking their cue from the strong gains seen on Wall Street before the weekend.
In focus on Tuesday, was the Bank of Japan after the country’s authorities intervened in government debt markets to stem a rise in longer-term government bond yields.

Against that backdrop, the US dollar jumped 0.9% against the yen to 142.43.

On the other hand, Tokyo’s ikkei-225 pushed 1.26% higher to 33,172.22.

The People’s Republic of China was also in the spotlight, as investors continued to debate the prospects for economic stimulus in the world’s second-largest economy.

Overnight, the ‘official’ factory sector Purchasing Managers’ Index rose from June’s level of 49.0 to 49.3 for July (consensus: 48.9).

A separate PMI for services meanwhile slipped from 53.2 to 51.5 (consensus: 53.0).

“Last week’s Politburo statement indicates that policymakers recognise that China’s post-pandemic recovery will be “tortuous” and bumpy, and is lumbered by weak demand, said Duncan Wrigley at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

“But China is likely to carry out only limited stimulus in H2, mindful of high debt problems among some local governments and property developers.”

Yet the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s composite index added 0.46% to 3,291.04.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was also on the up, climbing 0.82% to 20,078.94.

The Greenback however drifted down 0.04% to 7.1456 versus the yuan.

Stocks in South Korea also advanced.

Taiwan’s TAIEX was the exception to the rising tide, slipping 0.85% to 17,145.43.

In regional &A news, Walmart purchased Tiger Global Management’s remaining stake in Flipkart for $1.4bn, valuing the Indian e-commerce giant at $35bn, Bloomberg reported.

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