Japanese markets rise as growth data boosts stimulus hopes

HONG KONG - Japanese stocks rocketed Monday, leading most Asian markets higher after dismal growth data raised hopes for more stimulus for Asia's second biggest economy, weakening the yen.

See Full Article

Chinese shares dropped on their first day of trading after a weeklong holiday that coincided with a sharp sell-off in global markets.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index soared 6.3 per cent to 15,892.07, its second-biggest one-day gain in three years. South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.3 per cent to 1,857.82 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 2.7 per cent to 18,819.59. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China lost 1.6 per cent to 2,720.03 after reopening following the Lunar New Year holiday. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.4 per cent to 4,831.80. Taiwan's benchmark was down slightly while markets in Southeast Asia gained.

JAPAN GROWTH: The latest data show the economy shrank 1.4 per cent on an annualized basis last quarter because of weak consumer demand and slower exports. It's a setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic revival program, which aims to stoke inflation through massive monetary easing. However, the latest report also gives the government more reason to open the stimulus taps wider to restore growth, economists said.

QUOTEWORTHY: "Together with the recent slump in the Nikkei and the appreciation of the yen, the case for additional easing remains compelling," said Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics. He predicts the Bank of Japan will step up bond purchases and push interest rates that are already in negative territory even lower.

CHINA BANK CHIEF: Also helping shore up investor sentiment around the region were comments from China's central bank chief in which he played down the likelihood of a one-off devaluation of the yuan. People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan's signalled in a Caixin magazine interview published over the weekend that there was no basis for further depreciation of China's currency, providing relief for the country's exporting neighbours worried that a weakening yuan would hurt their competitiveness.

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks ended last week higher, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 2 per cent to close Friday at 15,973.84. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained 2 per cent to 1,864.78 and the Nasdaq composite added 1.7 per cent to 4,337.51.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures lost 26 cents to $29.18 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed $3.23, or 12.3 per cent, on Friday to settle at $29.44 a barrel. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 19 cents to $33.18 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar strengthened to 113.94 yen from 113.22 yen on Friday. The euro weakened to $1.1224 from $1.1257.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Crude dips as Trump says he will not accept high oil prices

    Economic CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump criticized OPEC on Friday for output curbs that have helped raise global oil prices and said "artificially" high prices would not be accepted, drawing rebukes from oil-producing countries as prices dipped following his remarks. Source
  • Wells Fargo to pay US$1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Wells Fargo will pay US$1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest chapter in a wide-ranging scandal at the banking giant. However, it appears that none of the US$1 billion will go directly the victims of Wells Fargo's abuses. Source
  • Lagarde urges countries to settle trade disputes, cut debt

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The head of the International Monetary Fund is urging countries to work out their differences over trade and take advantage of a healthy world economy to reduce debt before the next downturn comes. Source
  • Kushner Cos. subpoenaed by feds after AP report

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Kushner Cos. has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for information related to an Associated Press report that the company filed dozens of false documents about its buildings in New York City. Source
  • Pipelines, politics and petrodollars: Here's why Canadian gas prices are spiking

    Economic CBC News
    The price of filling up a tank of gas is a classic Canadian irritation. But a confluence of factors may soon make that process even more gob-smacking than usual. Here's a look at five reasons gas prices are soaring. Source
  • Air Canada, WestJet offer cheap basic economy fares for no-frills seekers

    Economic CBC News
    Thought economy was the lowest class on a plane? Think again: Air Canada and WestJet are selling "basic economy" fares that cost less and offer even fewer features, such as no options to change your flight. Source
  • Asian stocks fall over trade concerns

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Asian shares fell back Friday after a major supplier to Apple forecast continued weak demand for mobile devices. A warning by the head of the IMF over the potential for trade tensions to harm global growth also weighed on sentiment. Source
  • Global shares fall back on trade worries, tech outlook

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Global shares fell back Friday on worries over trade tensions and tech outlook after a major supplier to Apple forecast continued weak demand for mobile devices. A warning by the head of the IMF over the potential for trade tensions to harm global growth also weighed on sentiment. Source
  • Canadian Pacific starting operations shutdown ahead of possible strike

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Canadian Pacific Railway says it has begun shutting down train operations ahead of a possible strike set to start Saturday by two unionized workforces. The company says it has an embargo application in place on shipments going to or from CP's Canadian locations that will take effect just after midnight on April 21. Source
  • DavidsTea swings to loss on charges but says e-commerce improving

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - DavidsTea Inc. says it swung to a loss in its last quarter as onerous contract charges and impairments weighed on its balance sheet. The specialty tea retailer says it had a loss of $16.1 million for the fourth quarter ending Feb. Source