Most Asian markets rose this week as investor confidence was boosted by expectations of stimulus measures from central banks globally to regain the economic growth momentum.
Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 0. 2 percent this week and closed at 9020.75. The Tankan survey released by the Bank of Japan Monday reported that large manufacturers' outlook index improved to -1 in June up from -4 in March. Market sentiment turned positive with the improvement in the outlook index, indicating that the economic condition of Japan is on the path of recovery.
South Korea's Kospi Index was up 0.2 percent and closed at 1858.20. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced 1.9 percent and closed at 19800.64. China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.1 percent and closed at 2223.58.
Data released Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed that the country's Purchasing Managers' Index declined to 50.2 in June from 50.4 in May. Investors hoped that China would announce a more aggressive policy easing as the softening of manufacturing activities in June was a reflection of the deteriorating export situation.
India's BSE Sensex climbed 0.72 percent for the week and closed at 17521.12. The HSBC India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 55 in June up from 54.8 in May.
Markets opened on a positive note with investors optimistic that central banks in Europe could announce monetary easing measures to strengthen the euro zone economy.
The fall in Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing PMI to 49.7 in June, down from 53.5 in May, was taken as a sign that the U.S. was catching the slowdown already underway in Europe. Market participants felt that the weakening manufacturing sector would persuade the Federal Reserve to announce monetary easing measures to regain the economic growth momentum.
The European Central Bank said in Frankfurt Thursday that it had decided to cut the main interest rate to 0.75 percent in an attempt to rejuvenate the economic growth momentum. But market players were disappointed with the central bank's move to not pursue any bolder stimulus measures for now.
Investors were also not impressed by the Bank of England's decision to add a further £50 billion ($78 billion) to its quantitative easing program.
The People's Bank of China (PBC) Thursday cut interest rates for a second time this year. The central bank cut the main lending rate by a slightly-larger 31bps, taking it to 6 percent. Market participants were rather discouraged by this decision as it hinted at an uncertain economic growth in the world's second-largest economy.
Major gainers: Shares of Sino-Ocean Land advanced 14 percent and those of Poly (Hong Kong) Investments Ltd rose 17 percent.
Week Ahead: The markets are expected to be bearish for the next week as investors would remain watchful after no further bold moves by the central banks to announce stimulus measures. Market players will also be keenly watching the data on inflation, trade balance and gross domestic production scheduled to be released by China next week.