Asian Shares Gain On Easing Banking Fears

Asian stocks advanced on Tuesday as concerns over the banking crisis eased and China’s top leaders pledged to keep embracing foreign capital despite economic and geopolitical headwinds.

Chinese stocks underperformed after reports that the government will probe over 30 state-owned firms to weed out corruption. Disappointing earnings from the likes of Sinopec and China Hongqiao Group also weighed on sentiment.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 percent to 3,245.38, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rallied 1.1 percent to 19,784.65, aided largely by gains in the technology sector.

Japanese shares edged up slightly after the country’s cabinet approved the use of some funds from the fiscal 2022 budget for measures to cushion the impact of inflation.

The Nikkei 225 Index rose 0.2 percent to 27,518.25, while the broader Topix closed 0.3 percent higher at 1,966.67.

Seoul stocks rallied, with the Kospi settling 1.1 percent higher at 2,434.94 on easing banking woes.

Following assurances from central bank officials, governments and regulators, investors remained convinced that the recent banking fiasco wouldn’t lead to a large-scale financial crisis. Tech heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix jumped 1.3 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Australian markets rose sharply after data showed the country’s retail sales grew slightly more than expected in February.

The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index jumped 1.0 percent to 7,034.10, marking its best single-day gain in nine sessions. The broader All Ordinaries Index ended 1.1 percent higher at 7,219.40, led by banks, lithium miners and energy stocks.

Santos surged 3.1 percent and Woodside Energy Group soared 4.8 percent after oil prices rose more than $3 a barrel Monday on signs of tighter supply.

Battery metals explorer Liontown Resources soared 68.5 percent after rejecting an unsolicited takeover offer from top lithium producer Albemarle Corp. Pilbara Minerals surged 11.9 percent and Allkem rallied 13.7 percent.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index shot up 1.4 percent to 11,771.27.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight after reports of further government support for regional banks and the sale of SVB assets to First Citizens.

The Dow rose 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 inched up 0.2 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed half a percent, as Treasury yields climbed on optimism that stress in the banking sector will be contained.

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