Honkong, 9 September 2015: Japanese stocks posted their biggest gain in nearly seven years Wednesday, leading other regional indexes higher, as Asian policymakers sought to counter pessimism about prospects for markets and economic growth.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 7.7 percent to 18,770.51, its biggest one-day rise since October 2008. South Korea’s Kospi added 2.8 percent to 1,930.73 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 3.3 percent to 21,954.58.
The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China rose 1.6 percent to 3,221.71. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 2.1 percent to 5,221.10.
The Nikkei, which had earlier hit its lowest level since February, bounced after comments by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that raised expectations of more policy measures to shore up economic growth under his “Abenomics” stimulus program.
In remarks from Abe read out at a Bank of America-Merrill Lynch conference in Tokyo, he pledged to cut corporate tax rates by at least 3.3 percentage points next year.
Sentiment also got a boost after China’s Ministry of Finance unveiled a new round of measures aimed at shoring up faltering economic growth.
The steps, which include infrastructure spending and reforming taxes for small businesses, follow other recent moves aimed at soothing jittery markets. There was also optimism stemming from a rebound in Shanghai shares Tuesday that investors took as a signal that Beijing is continuing to stabilize markets.
“With the temporary calm in global markets investors were obviously seeing a good point to cover shorts or invest in stocks at knocked down valuations, particularly in high growth potential stocks,” said Angus Nicholson of IG in a market commentary.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks rebounded from last week’s loss to post their second-biggest gains for the year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 2.5 percent to 1,969.41 while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.4 percent to 16,492.68. The Nasdaq composite climbed 2.7 percent to 4,811.93 points.
In energy markets, U.S. benchmark oil rose 3 cents to $45.97 a barrel in electronic trading on theNew York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 11 cents to close at $45.94 a barrel in New York on Tuesday. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 20 cents to $49.72 in London.
The dollar rose to 120.52 yen from 119.99 yen on Tuesday. The euro slipped to $1.1154 from $1.1168.