Stock markets in Asia perked up early this week as investors are awaiting announcement of strong steps by central banks to enhance economic growth. The Hang Seng Index (HSI) of Hong Kong moved up by 0.1 % while Shanghai’s Composite Index went up by 0.4 % and those of Nikkei and South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.4 % and 0.7 % respectively. Monday was the first trading day after announcement of reduction in bank reserve ratio by People’s Bank of China which could release funds worth $126 billion into the market for long term lending.
The central bank announced that it will take several more steps to revive China’s sluggish economy. According to experts’ data released during the weekend, China’s economy fell by 1 % last month. This was due to fall in exports to US by 16 % last month as President Trump has threatened another hike in tariffs this month. Japan too revealed that its economy grew slower than estimated during second quarter and the country therefore revised GDP growth to 1.3 % instead of previous estimation of 1.8 %. The central bank of Japan has scheduled a meeting next week and investors are eagerly waiting to see what can be done as already the interest rate is very low.
European Central Bank’s decision about policy is due this week on Thursday and investors are looking forward to that too. The Federal Reserve of US however is holding its September meeting to be chaired by Jerome Powell next week and he has promised to do whatever possible to keep the national economy growing. This is being viewed by hopeful investors as a sign that rates may be cut again. China’s foreign exchange reserves have increased by $3.5 billion during August to touch a high of $3.1 trillion. China’s media agency, Global Times said that this would help the country in its trade war with United States.