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Asia: China to open up capital markets to spate of foreign investors

Natalia Asedova, Analyst, Global Markets (Finam)

On Thursday, April 5, key Asian stock markets largely traded in negative territory, being dragged down by negativity in Europe and the USA. A pullback in the benchmarks was primarily driven by the weak results of yesterday’s auction for the placement of Spanish state bonds, which rekindled concerns over instability in Europe.

The Spanish government has placed EUR 2.59 bn (USD 3.4 bn) in bonds, which corresponds to the lower end of the indicative range of EUR 2.5 bn to EUR 3.5 bn. Seeking to draw in investors, the country was forced to pay a higher yield relative to the previous auctions, set at 5.68% on ten-year notes.

China’s stock market was one of the few to finish the day on a positive note after its government voiced the intention to more than double the number of investors eligible to invest in the country’s stocks and bonds and hold deposits in Chinese banks. South Korean stock exchanges also chalked up gains on the back of news that foreign direct investments advanced 17% in the first quarter.

Of today’s macro data, we’d like to note an upsurge in non-resident net investments in Japan shares, which surged by JPY 132.1 bn over the past week after contracting by JPY 242.7 bn the week before. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong manufacturing PMI came in at 52.0 for March, sliding from 52.8 in the previous month.

Heading into the final bell, the regional stock indicator MSCI Asia Pacific inched down 0.1% to close at 125.44. In the meantime, China’s CSI 300 index rose 2.36%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average retreated 0.53% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 benchmark shed 0.32%. Stock markets in India and the Philippines were closed today and the trading session in New Zealand was shortened in observance of national holidays.

Companies that depend on a sizeable portion of revenue from European markets underperformed on renewed concerns over Europe. Specifically, the shares of Hutchison Whampoa and Nissan Motor lost 1.9% and 1% of their value, respectively.

NHN, the operator of South Korea's most-visited Web search engine, gained 8.1% intraday after Daewoo Securities analysts raised the target price for its shares from KRW 300,000 to KRW 340,000.

Meanwhile, the shares of Chinese developers rallied in Hong Kong against a Chinese government statement that a large number of foreign investors would gain access to capital markets. The stock quotes of Soho China, China Overseas Land & Investment and Agile Property Holdings climbed 2.4%, 0.9% and 2%, respectively. Chinese brokers also emerged as the top advancers amid the news, with Citic Securities and Haitong Securities adding 5.8% and 7.8%.

Index Country    Value    Change    Change, %    YTD, %
S&P/ASX 200 Australia 4319.85 -14.02 -0.32% 6.49%
All Ordinaries Australia 4402.34 -16.61 -0.38% 7.09%
Ho Chi Minh Vietnam 444.93 5.16 1.17% 26.56%
Hang Seng Hong Kong 20593.00 -197.98 -0.95% 11.71%
Hang Seng H-shares Hong Kong 10744.90 -114.58 -1.06% 8.14%
BSE 30 (Sensex) India 17486.00 -111.40 -0.63% 13.14%
Jakarta Composite Indonesia 4166.37 32.34 0.78% 9.01%
Shanghai A-shares China 2411.34 41.27 1.74% 4.65%
CSI 300 China 2512.83 57.93 2.36% 7.12%
KLSE Composite Malaysia 1593.44 -5.83 -0.36% 4.10%
NZSE 50 New Zealand 3467.98 -12.44 -0.36% 5.90%
Karachi 100 Pakistan 13820.40 -124.88 -0.90% 22.16%
Straits Times Singapore 2986.20 1.16 0.04% 12.84%
Bangkok SET Thailand 831.74 -11.52 -1.37% 15.78%
TAIEX Taiwan 7639.82 -121.03 -1.56% 8.03%
PSEi Philippines 5038.92 -17.56 -0.35% 15.26%
Colombo All-Shares Sri Lanka 5423.25 22.34 0.41% -10.72%
KOSPI South Korea 2028.77 10.16 0.50% 11.12%
Nikkei 225 Japan 9767.61 -52.38 -0.53% 15.52%
Topix Japan 832.57 -2.79 -0.33% 14.27%