Asian shares gain as investors await news on China-US trade
|Toronto Star 14 Mar 2019 at 22:24|
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1 per cent to 21,506.92 as the Bank of Japan ended a policy meeting by keeping its key interest rate at minus 0.1 per cent, maintaining its stance of extreme monetary easing and lavish stimulus.
Chinese shares surged as the annual session of its ceremonial congress ended with Premier Li Keqiang pledging support for the slowing economy.
Li said the country would cut fees and taxes, delivering help worth almost 2 trillion yen (about $300 billion) to companies, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
“We are going to cut value-added tax rates for manufacturing and other basic sectors, as well as for small and medium-sized companies, the largest providers of jobs in our country, in a meaningful way,” Xinhua quoted him as saying.
The Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.5 per cent to 3,035.10 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8 per cent to 29,083.03.
U.S. stocks indexes barely budged Thursday as the market’s three-day winning streak stalled.
The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index 0.1 per cent to 2,808.48. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 25,709.94. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.2 per cent to 7,630.91, while the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 0.4 per cent, to 1,549.63.