Asian stocks rise as China looks to boost bank lending

BEIJING - Asian markets were higher Tuesday as Chinese moves to boost bank lending helped offset weak factory data, while shares in Japan fell on lower consumer spending.

See Full Article

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 per cent to 2,698.89. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.8 per cent to 19,256.63. Sydney's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.1 per cent to 4,886.00 and Taiwan, Jakarta and New Zealand also advanced. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.2 per cent to 15,991.41 and Singapore and Malaysia also retreated. Korean markets were closed for a holiday.

CHINA LENDING: In a move to shore up slowing economic growth, Beijing freed more money for lending by lowering the amount commercial lenders must hold in reserve. The change reduced required reserves by 0.5 per cent points effective Tuesday, which will release several hundred billion yuan (tens of billions of dollars) into the market. Chinese traders are heavily influenced by the availability of credit to finance trading, so an uptick in lending often leads to a rise in share prices.

CHINESE MANUFACTURING: A survey showed Chinese factory activity in February fell to its lowest level in five months. Employment shrank at its fastest rate since the start of 2009 in the aftermath of the global crisis. "The economy's road to stability remains bumpy," said He Fan, the magazine's chief economist, in a report. "The government needs to press ahead with reforms, while adopting moderate stimulus policies and strengthening support of the economy in other ways to prevent it from falling off a cliff."

JAPANESE SPENDING DIPS: The government reported consumer spending fell 3.1 per cent in January from a year earlier following December's 4.4 per cent decline. That was despite a slight improvement in employment. "Today's figures suggest that private consumption continued to fall in Q1," said Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics in a report.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Positive Chinese sentiments would be extended partially to the rest of Asia," said Bernard Aw of IG in a report. "However, with the mixed and weak leads from overnight markets, any positivity may be restrained. Australia and Japan have already started off on a cagey note."

WALL STREET: Stocks fell, erasing nearly all the market's gains for the month, after health care stocks declined on weak earnings and lower natural gas prices pushed down energy shares. Investors lost enthusiasm for stocks after two straight weekly gains. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 123.47 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 16,516.50. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 15.82 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 1,932.23. That pushed the S&P 500 to its third monthly loss. The Nasdaq composite index retreated 32.52 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 4,557.95.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude declined 9 cents per barrel to $33.66 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 97 cents on Monday to close at $33.75. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 20 cents to $36.37 in London. It jumped $1.13 on Monday to $36.57.

CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 112.38 yen from Monday's 112.49 yen. The euro edged up to $1.0883 from $1.0880.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Alberta government introduces bill to cap electricity rates to stop price spikes

    Economic CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Electricity rates in Alberta would be capped under legislation the provincial government introduced Tuesday, a move it says will protect customers from major price spikes. The government says the four-year cap of 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour is expected to be in place by June 1. Source
  • Toronto stock index climbs on banks, industrials

    Economic CBC News
    Canada's main stock index eked out a moderate gain Tuesday as financial stocks got a boost ahead of Canadian bank earnings this week. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index climbed 18.48 points to 15,476.94, also helped by a rise in industrials and utilities stocks. Source
  • CFO of Soup Nazi-inspired company indicted on tax charges

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The chief financial officer for a company licensing recipes from the real-life chef who inspired the "Soup Nazi" character on "Seinfeld" has been arrested on tax charges alleging he cheated the government out of a half million dollars. Source
  • Some diesel Dodge Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees cheat emissions tests, U.S. says

    Economic CBC News
    The U.S. government is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that some diesel pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs cheat on emissions tests. The lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Justice Department marks the second time the government has gone after an automaker alleging use of software on diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution on the road than during Environmental Protection Agency lab testing. Source
  • US Justice Department files Chrysler emissions cheating lawsuit

    Economic Toronto Sun
    DETROIT — The U.S. government is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that some diesel pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs cheat on emissions tests. The lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Justice Department marks the second time the government has gone after an automaker alleging use of software on diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution on the road than during Environmental Protection Agency lab testing. Source
  • OPEC set to prolong oil output cuts by nine months

    Economic CBC News
    OPEC is likely to extend production cuts for another nine months, ministers and delegates said on Tuesday as the oil producer group meets this week to debate how to tackle a global glut of crude. OPEC's top producer, Saudi Arabia, favours extending the output curbs by nine months rather than the initially planned six months, as it seeks to speed up market rebalancing and prevent oil prices from sliding back below $50 per barrel. Source
  • U.S. says Fiat Chrysler used software to beat emissions tests

    Economic CTV News
    DETROIT -- The U.S. government is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that some diesel pickup trucks and Jeep SUVs cheat on emissions tests. The lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Justice Department marks the second time the government has gone after an automaker alleging use of software on diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution on the road than during Environmental Protection Agency lab testing. Source
  • Are 30-somethings earning more than their parents? StatsCan study says yes

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A new study from Statistics Canada says that Canadian children have, on average, fared better financially than their parents. The research published today finds that of Canadians who turned 30 between 2000 and 2014, between 59 and 67 per cent -- depending on the year -- had a family income that was equal to, or greater than what their parents earned at the same age. Source
  • In Bombardier fight, Boeing sees ghost of Airbus ascent

    Economic CBC News
    Two words underpin Boeing's decision to launch a U.S. trade complaint against Bombardier, which plunged it into a row with Canada last week: "Never again". Allegations that the Canadian firm dumped newly designed CSeries passenger jets in the United States at a steep loss have threatened a sale of F/A-18 warplanes to Ottawa, sending Boeing scrambling to save the deal. Source
  • Macron tries to sell plan to reform France's labour market

    Economic CTV News
    PARIS -- French President Emmanuel Macron is holding meetings with unions and business organizations to discuss reforming the country's labour market, which many blame for France's sub-par economic performance over recent years. Government spokesman Christophe Castaner told France 2 television that Tuesday's meetings aim at opening a "dialogue" but that the "unions must understand the need for changing lines. Source