Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Asian shares rise after US Senate passes budget plan

Reuters

Asian shares gained on Friday after the US Senate approved a budget blueprint for the 2018 fiscal year that will pave the way for Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic support.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, which scaled a 10-year peak on Tuesday, rose 0.3 percent, but was still down slightly for the week.

The weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday ended down 31.41 points, or 0.29 percent, at 10,728.88. The index is up 0.04 percent from last week’s 10,724.09.

Japan’s Nikkei on Friday erased its earlier losses and eked out a 0.04 percent gain, and a robust weekly rise of 1.4 percent. The Nikkei logged its 14th gaining session, its longest such streak since 1961.

Shares in New Zealand notched their 14th straight rising session and fifth winning week to close at a record after the nationalist New Zealand First Party agreed to form a new government with the center-left Labour Party.

Japan’s TOPIX ended virtually flat in Tokyo though at the highest since July 2007 and was up for a sixth consecutive week.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.7 percent.

The Hang Seng Index rose 1.2 percent, to 28,487.24 points, recovering much of Thursday’s 1.9 percent decline and ending the week roughly flat.

The Hong Kong China Enterprises Index jumped 1.8 percent, to 11,558.35 points, up 0.3 percent for the week.

The benchmark Hang Seng index fell the most in two months on Thursday, as investors were spooked by People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan’s (周小川) comments that risks from excessive optimism could lead to a “Minsky Moment.”

A Minsky Moment, named after economist Hyman Minsky, is a sudden collapse of asset prices that follows a long period of growth, sparked by debt or currency pressures.

“The rebound shows the market was wrong yesterday,” Robert Di, founding partner of asset manger RPower Capital said.

He added there had been some misreading of Zhou’s remarks, which he said were used as an excuse by some investors to take profit following Hang Seng’s nearly 30 percent surge this year.

“What Zhou said was an assumption, a scenario,” Di said, adding that the market had interpreted it more as a present reality.

Zhou on Thursday said that he is likely to retire soon, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

Additional reporting by CNA and Bloomberg

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