Friday, February 22, 2019
Martin Hennecke

Yen surges ahead of holiday
The Japanese yen surged to a nearly one-year high just as many locals are preparing to travel to Japan and the Bank of Japan said it will not be weak this year.

The currency once broke through 108 against the US dollar as investors sought the currency as a safe haven. As of 7.30pm local time last night, the Hong Kong dollar was reported at 7.2716 per hundred yen.

Japan's top currency official said yesterday he will scrutinize whether the yen's recent sharp gains were speculative, according to Kyodo news agency.

"We're closely watching whether there are any speculative factors" behind the yen's rises, Masatsugu Asakawa, vice finance minister for international affairs, told reporters.

Meanwhile, the yuan dropped 150 points and People's Bank of China chief Zhou Xiaochuan said the central bank will let the yuan rise reasonably.

China will maintain prudent monetary policy as well as appropriate growth in credit in 2018, he added.

China's main Shanghai Composite index closed up 1 percent at 3,185.5964 points while its blue-chip CSI300 index ended up 1.19 percent.

Hong Kong stocks rebounded but failed to close above 30,000 points, with the Hang Seng Index climbing 379.90 points or 1.29 percent to 29,839.53. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index gained 0.88 percent to 12,004.51.

Market turnover shrank again to HK$128.8 billion.

The biggest gainer in Hong Kong was Sunny Optical Technology (2382) after issuing a profit alert on Monday, jumping 5.68 percent to HK$119. Internet giant Tencent Holdings (0700) jumping 3.12 percent to HK$422.40 and AAC Technologies Holdings (2018) grew 3.4 percent to HK$148.90.

The financial sector also performed well, especially mainland banks after some of the banks in the city said they were offering higher interest rates for yuan deposits. Ping An Insurance (2318) gained 3.65 percent to HK$82.35 while Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (1398) increased by 1.39 percent to HK$6.55.

Meanwhile, Julia Leung Fung-yee, executive director of the Securities and Futures Commission, said the authority will closely pay attention to the stock market trading and fundraising activities amid volatility.

Previous news : Guangzhou R&F issues profit warning


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