Chinese and Hong Kong Stocks climbed on positive data and potential stimulus, while GDP data which fell short of expectations hurting Japanese firms.
Aug. 13, 2013 - CHIYODA-KU, Japan -- Chinese and Hong Kong stocks soared today to lead Asian Markets. The Shanghai Composite jumped 2.4%, its biggest gain in a month, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 2.1% to finish at its highest level since the beginning of June. “The markets are still gaining on last week´s data showing that Chinese trade indicators and monthly industrial output had beat expectations,” said Analyst Matthew Stevens at The Lexington Group. “A Hong Kong daily newspaper also reported on Monday that the Chinese Government was discretely offering stimulus to important cities and provinces to support local economies. Policy makers stated that national stimulus is out of the question, but said that “unofficial stimulus” was possible to support key regional economies.”
Construction and related material stocks were some of the best performs in China and Hong Kong. In Shanghai Anhui Conch Cement Co. gained 4.5% and property developer Gemdale Corp. took 4.4%. And In Hong Kong, China Resources Land Ltd rose 2.3% and Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. gained an impress6%.
The gains in China and Hong Kong did not help to drive earnings in Tokyo, with the Nikkei Stock Average falling 0.7%. The drop came on the back of data showing a decline in Japanese GDP. The Japanese Government report released on Monday showed that the economy grew 2.6% in the second quarter, but fell significantly short of 3.6% forecasted. In our opinion the decline likely stems from the scheduled consumption tax increases to boost the revenue of the highly indebted government. The Japanese parliament has approved an increase in the tax to 8% for April of next year and then to 10% by October of 2015 from its current level of 5%.
Financial firms were some of the biggest decliners. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. dropping 2.3%, and Nomura Holdings Inc. lost 3.1%