HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian shares outside of Japan advanced Friday after the European Central Bank took a series of measures to boost the economy, boosting appetite for risk assets.
The Nikkei Asia300 Index of companies outside Japan rose 0.6% to 1,289.51.
In a bid to prop up the flagging economy, the ECB yesterday further cut the key deposit rate into negative territory, resumed quantitative easing, changed the modalities of a new series of quarterly targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO III) to preserve favorable bank lending conditions, and introduced a two-tier system for remunerating excess reserves.
The common central bank cut the deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.50% and said that that it expects interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until the inflation outlook robustly converges to a level sufficiently close to its target of 2%. Further, the bank added that from November 1, it will resume asset purchases at a monthly pace of 20 billion euros ($22 billion).
"This is (ECB head) Mario Draghi's final "whatever it takes." Despite all market excitement now, the question remains whether this will be enough to get growth and inflation back on track," ING Bank said in a note.
Risk appetite in Asia was further boosted on Friday amid more optimism on U.S.-China trade. Bloomberg reported yesterday, citing sources, that White House officials discussed offering a limited trade agreement to China that would delay and perhaps roll back certain U.S. tariffs in return for promises on intellectual property and agricultural purchases.
An index of Chinese companies in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, climbed 0.9%, the highest in six-weeks on Friday. BYD advanced 3.9%, leading carmakers higher. Bank of China, up 1.3%, paced advance among mainland lenders.
China Southern Airlines rose 2.6% after the number of passengers carried in August increased 8.6% on-year. The passenger load factor was up 0.14% to around 86%.
China Railway Group added 0.8%. A consortium consisting of the company's units won a mining operation contract worth about $825 million in Solomon Islands.
Sun Hung Kai Properties edged 0.3% higher. The Hong Kong property developer said net profit in the financial year ended June 30 declined 10.1% from a year ago.
Astro Malaysia Holdings advanced 2.2% after the Malaysian media and entertainment company said second-quarter net profit surged 10-fold from a year earlier.
City Developments closed 0.4% higher. The Singapore listed real-estate company said its takeover bid for London-listed Millennium & Copthorne Hotels had received minority-shareholder approval. CDL currently controls around 65% of M&C which owns or operates about 120 hotels worldwide.