Asian stock markets zoomed higher early Monday, rallying after news of a plan to shore up Spanish banks, the source of much recent global financial anxiety.
Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average JP:100000018 +1.92 percent gained 1.9 percent to 8,619.23 in the early minutes of trading, while the South Korean Kospi KR:SEU +1.67 percent climbed 1.5%. Australian equity markets were shut for the Queen’s Birthday.
The gains reflected an easing over European jitters after Spain’s Finance minister Luis de Guindos said the country is seeking European Union loans for as much as 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to help its struggling banking sector. See report on Spanish bank aid.
Financials were among the Tokyo-listed beneficiaries, with Nomura Holdings Inc. JP:8604 +1.87 percent NRSCF +1.40 percent NMR -1.18 percent rising 2.2%, Daiwa Securities Group Inc. JP:8601 +3.53 percent DSECF +8.22 percent advancing 3.5%, and Japanese shares of Citigroup Inc. JP:8710 +5.67 percent C +3.20 percent surging 4.7%.
Strength in the euro euro JPY -0.08 percent also helped Japanese exporters with sizeable European exposure, as the currency rose back above the 100-yen mark ahead of the market open.
Gains included a 3 percent rise for Mazda Motor Corp. JP:7261 +4.04 percent MZDAF +1.68%, a 6.6 percent pop for Sharp Corp. JP:6753 +6.38 percent SHCAF -1.46%, and an improvement of 2.2 percent for Canon Inc. JP:7751 +2.72 percent CAJ -0.53%.
Over in Seoul, blue-chip exporters were also outperformers, with SK Hynix Inc. adding 3.7 percent to its value – helped by a reported chip-development alliance with IBM Corp. IBM +0.36 percent – and LG Display Co. LPL +0.43 percent rocketing up 3.9%.
Japanese and South Korean markets appeared to largely shrug off a mixed bag of Chinese economic data released over the weekend showing a broadly softening economy but a strong trade account. Read more on Chinese economic data.
The gains in Asia followed an advance Friday in the US, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA +0.75 percent added 0.8%, and the Nasdaq COMP +0.97 percent rose 1%. US stock-index futures late Sunday pointed to gains on Wall Street.-By Michael Kitchen