Asia Dips amid Smoldering Banking Sector Concerns, Yen Stands Tall

Asian stocks dipped early on Wednesday amid smoldering banking sector concerns, particularly banks in Europe, while the safe-haven yen stood atop large gains made overnight.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.2 percent. The decline was limited after Wall Street shares cut most of their losses overnight and gave battered risk assets some relief.

Australian stocks fell 1 percent. Japan’s Nikkei .N225 lost 0.2 percent after sinking 5.4 percent on Tuesday.

Equity markets remained wobbly after being hit hard early in the week by worries about the health of the euro zone banking sector, with a very easy monetary policy seen crimping bank profits and consequently their ability to repay debt.

Source: Reuters

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Hong Kong shares edge up, lifted by China banking stocks

Hong Kong’s main stock indices rose on Thursday, led by banking shares, as investors expect that Beijing’s plans to let local governments swap out expensive debt will improve asset quality at Chinese lenders.

The Hang Seng index rose 0.3 percent, to 23,797.96, while the China Enterprises Index gained 1.3 percent, to 11,565.80 points.

China unveiled plans to exchange 1 trillion yuan ($ 159.70 billion) worth of local government high-interest maturing debt for low-interest municipal or provincial bonds. Analysts say the move would help bolster lenders’ balance sheets.

Chinese banks listed in Hong Kong, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of China, which represent sizable weightings in Hong Kong’s benchmark index, all posted strong gains.

Among the most actively traded stocks on Hong Kong’s main board were Suncorp Tech, up 9.6 percent to HK$ 0.57 and Hybrid Kinetic, up 13.2 percent to HK$ 0.43.

Total trading volume of companies included in the HSI index was 1.7 billion shares.

Source : Bloomberg

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