Asian Markets Boosted by Japan Bank Move
Asian markets rose Wednesday after Japan’s central bank said it would boost a asset-buying scheme to kickstart the economy, which also sent the yen lower against the dollar and euro.
The Bank of Japan said after a two-day policy meeting it would boost an asset-purchasing fund by 10 trillion yen ($128 billion) to 80 trillion yen while also keeping interest rates between zero and 0.1 percent.
Tokyo rose to its highest level in more than four months following the BoJ announcement, gaining 1.19 percent, or 108.44 points, to 9,232.21. It was the best finish for the Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange since May 2.
Sydney also closed at its highest level since May, gaining 0.54 percent, or 23.7 points, at 4,418.4 while Seoul was 0.15 percent higher, or 2.92 points, at 2,007.88.
In afternoon trade Hong Kong added 1.27 percent, while Shanghai was 0.38 percent higher. Mumbai was closed for a public holiday.
The BoJ’s move will see the bank provide more yen liquidity to markets as it purchases government and corporate bonds, and commercial paper.
Pressure had been on BoJ policymakers to follow the Europeans and Americans by announcing new plans to pump cash into the ailing economy.
The European Central Bank (ECB) this month sent equities soaring after saying it would buy unlimited amounts of debt from under-pressure eurozone members to lower their borrowing costs.
That was followed on Thursday by the Fed’s unveiling of a third round of bond-buying, or quantitative easing (QE3), to kickstart jobs growth in the world’s biggest economy.
Japan’s Finance Minister Jun Azumi welcomed the BoJ decision, saying the bank “took more action than we anticipated” and it would help the economy.
Following the BoJ announcement, the dollar rose to 79.16 yen, from 78.78 yen before, while the euro was at 103.50 yen from 102.54 yen in the morning.
Later, in the afternoon, the dollar was at 79.13 yen while the euro was at 103.49 against the Japanese currency.
In Tokyo, shares in Japan Airlines rose 3.03 percent in early trade, almost three years after it became one of Japan’s biggest ever corporate failures, owing $29 billion, but they tracked back in the afternoon to close up 1.06 percent.
The carrier was delisted soon after the bankruptcy but has managed to bounce back after painful restructuring that has seen it raise $8.5 billion in an initial public offering, second in the world only to Facebook this year.
Oil prices were also lifted. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in October, was 59 cents higher at $95.88 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for November delivery added 45 cents to $112.48.
Gold was at $1,775.41 at 0615 GMT compared with $1,756.35 on Tuesday.
In other markets:
— Taipei rose 0.62 percent, or 47.65 points, to 7,781.91. Hon Hai Precision increased 0.83 percent to Tw$96.9 while TSMC was 0.35 percent higher at Tw$86.0.
— Wellington fell 0.17 percent, or 6.58 points, to 3,797.89. Telecom Corp. was down 2.74 percent at NZ$2.31.