Asian bourses surge on progress in Greek talks

MOST Asian bourses were buoyed yesterday by rising hopes that a deal will be struck this week on the Greek debt crisis.

Investor sentiment across the region improved markedly as signs emerged that European leaders may be nearing a solution after Greece offered fresh proposals on addressing its debt.

With Wall Street and European stocks higher on Monday, Asian markets took the cue.

Japan was the most buoyant of regional markets yesterday, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index rising 1.87 per cent to a new 15-year high.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index surged 2.19 per cent despite wild swings through the day, while the CSI 300, which tracks the largest listed firms in Shanghai and Shenzhen, rose 3.2 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.93 per cent.

Aside from the brighter news in Europe, Chinese markets also drew strength from a slew of bullish comments made by state-run media highlighting official support for the stock market bull run.

This may allay fears of a market crash following last week's correction of over 13 per cent amid concerns that government measures will be rolled out to tighten margin trading.

At home, the Straits Times Index (STI) closed 0.74 per cent higher at 3,339.78, capping a 1.2 per cent rise since last Friday as investors were encouraged by both the potential breakthrough in the Greek crisis and the latest Federal Reserve decision to maintain near-zero interest rates.

As positive market news keeps arriving, analysts expect the STI to remain above the key 3,300- point level in the near term.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2015, with the headline 'Asian bourses surge on progress in Greek talks'. Subscribe