Asia’s major markets started the week on the front foot with tech firms leading the charge in Hong Kong and Tokyo tracking gains on Wall Street.
The gains were helped by another drop in oil prices after the 31-nation International Energy Agency agreed to tap its vast reserves to offset the removal of Russian exports, while the start of a ceasefire in Yemen eased concerns over supplies from the region.
Hong Kong stocks reached a one-month high on Monday, led by Hong Kong-US dual-listed companies, after a weekend statement from China’s securities watchdog allayed investors fears’ that those firms would be forced to delist from the United States.
The Hang Seng Index closed 2.1% higher at 22,502.31 points, its highest close since March 1 while the Hong Kong China Enterprises Index gained 3.1% to 7,770.98.
Mainland Chinese markets were closed for a holiday and both Hong Kong and mainland markets will also be closed on Tuesday.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission, on Saturday, proposed revising confidentiality rules involving offshore listings, removing a legal hurdle to Sino-US cooperation on audit oversight. Instead, the onus for protecting state secrets would be put on Chinese companies.
Baidu finished the day 7.77% higher, Yum China gained 5.33% and Weibo added 3.4%. The Hang Seng Tech Index jumped 5.43%.
All three had been named by the US Securities and Exchange Commission as possibly facing delisting from the United States under rules requiring the US accounting regulator to have access to audit working papers of all US-listed companies.
“Investors’ concerns about the delisting of Chinese dual listing stocks in the United States have been reduced, which is the most important factor for the performance of the stock market today,” said Kenny Ng, securities strategist at China Everbright Securities International.
Hang Seng Property Index
“Mainland property stocks continued to perform well also, which is related to the recent measures introduced by some local governments in the mainland. How effective these measures are depend on whether sales figures will pick up significantly in future,” Ng added.
The Hang Seng Mainland Property Index rose 6.38%, with developer Country Garden, up 8.36%, at the fore. The Hang Seng Property index gained 3.05%.
Country Garden’s property management unit, Country Garden Services Holdings Co Ltd, which rose 16.16%, was the top gainer on the Hang Seng.
Japan’s Nikkei ended higher on Monday in a range-bound trading session, tracking gains in Wall Street and other Asian equity markets, though losses in chip-related shares weighed on the index.
The Nikkei share average rose 0.25% to close at 27,736.47, after falling as much as 0.3% earlier in the session. The broader Topix gained 0.48% to 1,953.63.
“The Japanese market was supported by gains on the US market over the weekend, while US futures kept its momentum,” Yutaka Miura, senior technical analyst at Mizuho Securities, said.
Indian stocks were up too with Mumbai’s signature Nifty 50 index up 2.17%, or 382.95 points, to close at 18,053.40.
Key figures around 0810 GMT
Tokyo – Nikkei 225 > UP 0.3% at 27,736.47 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index > UP 2.1% at 22,502.31 (close)
Shanghai – Composite > Closed
London – FTSE 100 > UP 0.3% at 7,557.60
Brent North Sea crude > UP 1.1% at $105.51 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate > UP 1.1% at $100.33 per barrel
New York – Dow > UP 0.4% at 34,818.27 (Friday close)
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara