Hong Kong, China — Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong stock markets experienced a surge of 2% on Tuesday, driven by gains in healthcare and tech stocks. This surge comes after Chinese regulators implemented measures to ease the recent market sell-off, including issuing a statement from the country’s securities and regulatory commission promising to guide institutional investors to enter the market with greater efforts.
The largest mover on the CSI 300 was Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, which saw a 10% increase, while the tech giant Alibaba led gains on the Hang Seng index with a 5.9% jump.
In Australia, retail sales volumes rose by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023, surpassing the estimated 0.1% growth from a Reuters poll. This increase was supported by lower price growth for retail goods, with consumers taking advantage of discounts for discretionary items like furniture and electronic goods. However, sales volumes per person have fallen every quarter since reaching a peak in June 2022, despite remaining above pre-pandemic levels.
In other news, the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to hold its official cash rate steady at 4.35%, with no expectations for a dovish pivot. The bank’s decision is based on factors such as the cooling inflation for the fourth quarter of 2023, which remained well above the RBA’s 2-3% target range.
Additionally, traders have tempered their expectations for interest rate cuts following cautious statements from Federal Reserve officials. The probability of a previously anticipated March cut has decreased significantly, with the market now expecting fewer cuts for the full year.
Amidst these shifts, UBS advises investors to stick with quality stocks, especially in the U.S. tech sector. The firm anticipates that these companies can weather a slowdown in economic growth and tend to outperform during periods of economic downturn.
Overall, the market in Asia has seen significant movements and adjustments based on various economic factors, signaling potential opportunities and challenges for investors and financial institutions alike.