Hong Kong and Chinese stocks are rallying on Monday after China announced measures to protect and empower its economy. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index () ended up 2.2%, the biggest daily percentage gain in two months. China’s Shanghai Composite Index ( ) closed 2.1% higher, also the best daily performance since July 1.
Analysts pointed to several developments that likely caused optimism, including an announcement from the People’s Bank of China that was meant to boost the Chinese economy. The central bank introduced a plan meant to lower borrowing costs for companies.
China plans to replace its existing benchmark lending rate with a more market-driven interest rate system, the bank said in its statement. Chinese real estate developers surged on expectations of a boost from the easing move. Country Garden, one of China’s largest developers by sales, jumped 5.8% in Hong Kong. The reforms “have opened up the door for potential rate cuts and should immediately offer up a [reprieve] to Chinese companies,” wrote Stephen Innes, managing partner for Valour Markets Pte in Singapore, in a research note. “While not quite the policy bazooka the market so desperately needs … it should provide a much-needed boost to regional sentiment and global commodity prices,” he added.
Chinese stocks with ties to Shenzhen, Hong Kong’s neighboring city, also rallied. The Chinese government on Sunday announced a plan to transform Shenzhen into a global businesses hub and a technology center.
Shenzhen-based Chinese tech giant Tencent climbed 3.2% in Hong Kong. Shenzhen International Holding, a property-focused conglomerate, pulled higher by 7.7% in Hong Kong. Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 () rose 0.7%. Korea’s Kospi ( ) also added 0.7%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1%.
Investors might also be encouraged by the potential for improvement in US-China trade relations. US President Donald Trump said over the weekend that Apple CEO Tim Cook made a “good case” about the effects tariffs were having on the tech company’s business. “This is significant for markets,” wrote Jingyi Pan, a market strategist for IG Group, in a research note. She pointed out that Apple is a “favorite” among big US tech stocks that would be hit hard by the latest tariffs that Trump proposed on China.