Asian markets cheer Chinese stimulus policies

Harriet Green
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Asian stocks have been buoyed in trading today, rising for the seventh day in a row, after the Chinese government said it’d be cutting taxes for smaller companies.

It also announced plans to speed up construction on railways, selling 150bn yuan (£14.5bn) of bonds this year to fund work in less-developed areas.

The Nikkei has gained 1.2 per cent to 15,130, after touching a three-week high earlier in the day.

The Hang Seng is up 0.3 per cent at 22,595. South Korea’s Kospi has gained 0.1 per cent.

Construction equipment makers have been doing particularly well, gaining significantly on the news from China. Copper and oil have fallen.

Another solid set of data from the US has also boosted market sentiment, with the S&P 500 closing at another record high yesterday.

Meanwhile, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, has said that leading nations still need to invoke policy steps to help global growth, which, she says, is still slow.

Some economists have pointed out in response that slower growth isn’t necessarily something to worry about, and could mean more sustainable growth.