Regional markets rally on IMF's yuan inclusion
MARKETS across the region bounced back yesterday as traders cheered the International Monetary Fund's decision to include the Chinese yuan in its elite basket of currencies.
The move is widely expected to help reduce volatility in the currency.
Singapore stocks joined the rally, although the gain was modest with the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) inching up 14.32 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 2,870.26.
Hong Kong led the regionwide rally with a 1.8 per cent jump, even as official Chinese data showed that manufacturing dropped to the lowest in three years.
"The PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) was worse than expected, so this may prompt more stimulus," Mikio Kumada, a Hong Kong-based strategist at LGT Capital Partners, told Bloomberg.
He added: "The seasonal pattern always favours equities towards the end of the year."
Tokyo rose 1.3 per cent, while Shanghai held steady, adding 0.3 per cent after two volatile sessions as the authorities launched regulatory probes on major brokerages.
Seoul gained 1.6 per cent, Sydney advanced 1.9 per cent and Jakarta jumped 2.5 per cent.
Wall Street dipped 0.4 per cent overnight, as investors readied themselves for the European Central Bank meeting tomorrow, which could spell further quantitative easing policies to stimulate the economy, and last month's jobs report on Friday.
At home, commodity trader Noble Group was among the day's biggest winners, rising half a cent or 1.2 per cent on its fourth straight day of gains to 43 cents.
It was also the most active counter with 50.9 million shares changing hands.
Logistics facilities provider Global Logistic Properties also performed well, chalking up a five-cent or 2.5 per cent increase to $2.02.
The group announced last week that it had signed leases with three industry leaders in China - JD.com, Best Logistics and STO Express - with a total land area of 743,000 sq ft.
Property giants Hongkong Land Holdings and CapitaLand helped boost the STI as well. Hongkong Land added six US cents or 0.9 per cent to US$7.05, while CapitaLand rose 10 cents or 3.3 per cent to $3.12.
The local banks were mixed: United Overseas Bank edged up six cents or 0.3 per cent to $19.45, DBS Group Holdings climbed five cents or 0.3 per cent to $16.55, and OCBC Bank was unchanged at $8.67.
On the other side of the ledger, Golden-Agri Resources, the world's second largest global palm-oil producer, led losses among the blue chips, sliding half a cent or 1.4 per cent to 35.5 cents.
Ground handling firm Sats dipped one cent or 0.3 per cent to $3.94.
There were 994 million units traded worth $1.02 billion yesterday.