Asian markets up following G-20 meeting
Asian markets all posted gains today after participants at this weekend's G-20 meeting in London agreed to continue stimulating economies around the world. Overall, the message was clear: finance officials from around the world are eager to cooperate as the world emerges from recession.
This news, coupled with encouraging words from Chinese central bank adviser Fan Geng, sent Hong Kong stocks up 1.5 percent to a three-week closing high of 20,629. Speaking at the China CEO Forum in Beijing today, Fan predicted that investment growth in China's property market could rebound as much as 30 percent next year. "As property developers rush to buy land and plan construction this year, investment activities will soon pick up pace," he said.
In China, the Shanghai Composite rose for a fifth straight day, ending at 2,881 -- a gain of 0.7 percent, although it had been up as much as 2 percent in earlier trading. A major Chinese order of 7.3 million doses of swine flu vaccine sent shares of vaccine makers soaring. Hualan Biological Engineering Inc., which will provide 4 million of the doses to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, hit its 10 percent daily limit to end at 45.03 yuan. Hualan is the first Asian company to gain approval to begin marketing and distributing swine flu vaccines. Experts are warning the disease is likely to spread widely during this winter's flu season, causing regulators to speed the usually lengthy approval process for new vaccines. The other 3.3 million doses will come from U.S.-traded Sinovac Biotech (SVA.A), which gained approval to mass-produce its vaccine last Thursday.
In Japan, the Nikkei recovered slightly from its four-day losing streak, ending the day up 133 points to close at 10,320. Japanese real estate stocks mirrored the action in Hong Kong, with NTT Urban Development Corp. climbing 7.1 percent and Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd. gaining 5.3 percent. Japan Steel Works, which supplies nuclear reactor parts soared 8.2 percent after forecasting a boom in nuclear plant construction in China, which may be planning to build as many as 22 reactors by 2010.
While the global economy remains fragile, Asia's markets today offered continuing evidence that stimulus measures are taking hold.