SHANGHAI (AFP) – Chinese shares jumped Thursday after the government announced new corporate support policies aimed at boosting the economy, in thin trade with most Asian markets closed for the Christmas holiday.
Shanghai jumped 3.36 per cent, while Shenzhen gained 1.44 per cent.
Markets in Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Korea, India, the Philippines and Indonesia were closed for public holidays.
Other Asian markets slipped, with Tokyo shedding 0.25 per cent, Bangkok falling 1.32 per cent, and Taipei losing 0.3 per cent. This came despite a positive lead from Wall Street, which edged Wednesday to a fresh record in a holiday-shortened session, one day after topping 18,000 points for the first time ever.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.04 points (0.03 per cent) to 18,030.21, posting its sixth straight gain.
The broad-based S&P 500 snapped a five-day winning streak, falling a scant 0.29 (0.01 per cent) to 2,081.88, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 8.05 (0.17 per cent) to 4,773.47.
US stocks have been on a tear since the Federal Reserve last week kept interest rates low and pledged a cautious approach to raising rates. Late Wednesday China’s State Council, or cabinet, announced preferential policies for Chinese manufacturers, including a promise to extend financial support, especially to large-scale equipment makers, to expand their exports.
“China’s new round of stimulus polices has helped the market to recoup earlier losses,” Northeast Securities analyst Shen Zhengyang told AFP.
“However, it may further consolidate around the current level as ups and downs like these are quite normal for a capital-driven market.” Among the announced measures were also a promise to reduce red tape for Chinese companies listing on foreign stock markets as well as a loosening of restrictions on overseas bond issuance by domestic corporations.
The Shanghai index has gained over 20 per cent since China announced a surprise interest rate cut in late November, with the market experiencing swings around the symbolic 3,000 mark.
Construction companies rose on expectations for lower costs after the supportive policies in equipment sectors.
On the Shanghai market, China Railway Construction Corp. surged by its 10 per cent daily limit to 13.74 yuan while China Railway Erju Co. also jumped 10 per cent to 15.58 yuan.
Insurance companies were among Thursday’s biggest gainers. China Life Insurance Co jumped in Shanghai by its 10 per cent limit to 27.87 yuan while Ping An Insurance (Group) Co rose 4.45 per cent to 64.31 yuan.