Overseas Trading: Asia Gains on Stimulus Hopes; Bank Stocks Lead London Higher

More weak data from China's manufacturing sector sparked optimism that additional easing measures may be on the way

by Elizabeth Harrow

Published on Dec 1, 2015 at 8:28 AM

Asian stocks finished higher today, with lackluster manufacturing data from the Chinese mainland sparking fresh stimulus hopes. Beijing's official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) pulled back to 49.6 last month, while the Caixin PMI arrived at 48.6 -- indicating an ongoing contraction in the factory sector. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officially added the yuan to its Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket, with the Chinese currency set to join the dollar, euro, yen, and pound as of next October.

Elsewhere, Tokyo-listed stocks rallied on upbeat capital spending data, while traders in Seoul shrugged off last month's declines in both imports and exports. By the close, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.8%, South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.6%, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.3%, and China's Shanghai Composite edged up 0.4%.

European markets are mixed at midday, with investors cautiously eyeing a mild improvement in the eurozone's unemployment rate ahead of Thursday's European Central Bank (ECB) meeting. London is outperforming its regional peers, boosted by banking names after seven major financial firms passed the Bank of England's stress tests. At last check, London's FTSE 100 has tacked on 0.6%, while France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX are each 0.1% lower.


Overseas markets 1201


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