The China stock market has finished higher now in six consecutive sessions, surging nearly 200 points or 9 percent along the way. The Shanghai Composite Index broke through resistance at 2,300 points, and now investors are anticipating even more upside for stocks at the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The Asian markets draw a sharply positive global forecast, with major gains expected from the financial sector that has been so oversold in recent months - thanks to details on the U.S. plan to remove toxic assets. Some better than expected economic data out of the U.S. adds to the positive sentiment. The European markets finished sharply higher, as did the U.S. markets, and the Asian bourses are forecast to follow that lead.
The SCI finished sharply higher on Monday, thanks to solid gains among the property stocks and the agricultural issues. The financial shares also wound up with significant gains throughout the trading day.
For the day, the index jumped 44.39 points or 1.95 percent to close at 2,325.48 after trading between 2,276.81 and 2,329.18. The Shenzhen Index gained 238.24 points or 2.76 percent to finish at 8,885.75 for a combined turnover of 227.4 billion yuan. Gains outnumbered decliners 760 to 88 in Shanghai and 645 to 88 in Shenzhen.
Among the gainers, China State Shipbuilding, Zhongjin Gold Corp and Beijing Dalong Weiye Real Estate Development all soared by the 10 percent daily limit, while Fujian Yong'an Forestry added 7.6 percent, Heilongjiang Agriculture surged 7.45 percent, Poly Real Estate Group was up 5.33 percent, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank was up 4.66 percent, Ping An Insurance was 4.65 percent higher and Jiangxi Copper added 2.2 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks moved sharply higher over the course of the trading day on Monday, with the major averages more than offsetting the losses posted in the two previous sessions to reach their best levels in over a month. The standout gains came after the Obama administration revealed its plan to help banks sell toxic assets.
The plan unveiled by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will set up an investment fund to buy mortgage-related securities and other assets that are hurting the balance sheets of banks. The new Public Private Investment Program would combine taxpayer money with private funds, aiming to buy loans and free up banks to renew lending.
Geithner's plan involves using up to $100 billion in funds from the $700 billion financial rescue plan passed in 2008 in addition to capital from private investors to generate an estimated $500 billion to purchase the toxic assets, a number that could double to $1 trillion over time.
In economic news, existing home sales unexpectedly rose in the month of February, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors, with sales rebounding after hitting a twelve-year low in the previous month. The report showed that existing home sales rose 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million units in February from a pace of 4.49 million units in January. Economists had expected sales to slip to a 4.45 million unit rate.
Some of the strength on the day also came as investors reacted to Canadian integrated oil and natural gas companies Suncor Energy (SU) and Petro-Canada (PCZ) jointly announcing that the companies have agreed to merge in an all-stock deal. Furthermore, Walgreen (WAG) reported second quarter earnings that fell year-over-year but still pleased investors. Comparable stores sales increased 1.3 percent in the quarter, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 1.2 percent.
The major averages accelerated to the upside going into the close, ending the session at or near their best levels of the day. The Dow closed up 497.48 points or 6.8 percent at 7,775.86, the Nasdaq closed up 98.50 points or 6.8 percent at 1,555.77 and the S&P 500 closed up 54.38 points or 7.1 percent at 822.92.
In economic news, China and Indonesia have agreed on a three-year CNY 100 billion or IDR 175 trillion currency swap pact, the People's Bank of China said on Monday. The effective period of the arrangement could be extended if both parties agree, the central bank said. In February, the PBoC and Malaysia's central bank had announced a bilateral currency swap arrangement of CNY 80 billion or MYR 40 billion. This follows a currency swap agreement of up to CNY 200 billion or HKD 227 billion agreement with Hong Kong in January and CNY 180 billion or KRW 38 trillion deal with South Korea in December 2008.
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