European stocks rise on Japanese stimulus hope

TOKYO

TOKYO: Europe’s stock markets rose Monday on growing hopes that Japan would deliver more stimulus measures in response to flat economic growth, dealers said.

London, Frankfurt and Paris advanced in the absence of major European data or company earnings. Trading was subdued as it is a national holiday in France and parts of Germany.

Most Asian markets climbed but Tokyo dipped as official figures showed Japan’s economy stalled in the second quarter.

“European shares are starting the new trading week on a positive note trading higher after a rather uneventful weekend in regard to major political or economic news,” said trader Markus Huber at City of London Markets.

“Whilst the latest Japanese economic growth data have failed to meet expectations not everybody is viewing this necessarily as massively negative.

“Instead it appears rather likely that the government will take additional steps to boost growth rather sooner than later.”

Data showed growth in the world’s third largest economy was flat at zero percent quarter-on-quarter, missing predictions for a 0.2 percent expansion in the April-June period, on weak exports and lower business spending.

Japanese officials are under increasing pressure to deliver as economists are writing off Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s years-long bid to cement a lasting recovery, dubbed Abenomics.

Tokyo recently announced a whopping 28 trillion yen ($276 billion) package aimed at kickstarting growth.

“The recently announced fiscal and monetary stimulus measures were clearly insufficient to satiate the market’s appetite,” said London Capital Group analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.

“The bulk of investors expect to hear more measures from the government and Bank of Japan (BoJ) to boost growth. The problem is that neither the BoJ, nor Shinzo Abe’s government have much left in their pockets to satisfy the unappeasable hunger for free liquidity.”

Shanghai jumps

Elsewhere in Asia, Sydney, Wellington and Kuala Lumpur also saw gains, even after poor economic data from the eurozone and the United States on Friday left stocks under pressure.

Chinese shares rallied on hopes the government would soon launch a scheme to link trading on the Shenzhen exchange with the Hong Kong bourse.

Hong Kong rose 0.7 percent, while Shanghai finished the day up 2.4 percent after the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on Friday that the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme would be launched this year.

China launched a landmark “stock connect” between Shanghai and Hong Kong in late 2014, which allowed investors to trade selected stocks on Shanghai’s tightly restricted exchange and let mainland investors buy shares in Hong Kong.