HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan rebounded Wednesday amid a further decline in new coronavirus cases and expectations of more easing by China's central bank.
The Nikkei Asia300 index of companies outside Japan added 0.7% to 1,372.10, recovering from losses incurred yesterday after Apple said it will not meet its revenue guidance on account of the virus outbreak in China.
Asian equities gained a day ahead of an expected cut in the interest rate on which new loans are priced in China. After the Chinese central bank cut interest on one-year medium-term loans by 10 basis points earlier this week, economists expect a similar reduction on the loan prime rate.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Indonesia is projected to lower its key policy rate by quarter basis points, according to 16 of the 28 economists polled by Reuters. If authority does cut the rate, it would become the fourth Southeast Asian central bank to easy policy in recent days to combat the impact of the virus outbreak, joining Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia.
China's National Health Commission on Wednesday reported 1,749 new cases of the virus, which according to calculations by Reuters, was the lowest daily increase since Jan. 29. Following a surge in the number of new cases last Wednesday after China changed the methodology of diagnosing the virus infection, there has been a consistent fall in new daily cases.
Chinese companies were among the biggest contributors to the A300's advance, led by lenders and airlines. Hong Kong-shares of Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank added at least 1.2% each, while China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines climbed 2.4% and 2.7%, respectively. China Life Insurance rose 1.1% after reporting that January premium income increased 22.6% on-year.
Elsewhere, Samsung Electronics added 0.7% after falling 2.8% yesterday. The company's semiconductor manufacturing division won a contract to make new 5G chips from Qualcomm, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
Tata Motors declined 2.2%. The CEO of its luxury unit Jaguar land Rover reportedly said Tuesday that there were no sales in China and the company will not have enough parts from China to maintain its British production beyond the next two weeks.