In a day marked by the closure of U.S. markets for Labor Day, international stock indexes displayed mixed movements as investors closely examined recent steps taken by China to bolster its troubled property sector.
Across Asia, stock indexes exhibited varying trends, with Chinese markets leading the gains as investors welcomed Beijing’s latest initiatives to support the real estate market.
The Shanghai Composite Index surged by 1.4%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index recorded a notable 2.5% increase. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also joined the positive sentiment, rising by 0.7%.
However, international markets experienced lower trading volumes due to the U.S. holiday, leading to subdued activity.
U.S. stock futures and European indexes initially saw gains but eventually settled around the flatline, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index closing without significant changes.
Notably, Novo Nordisk’s shares continued their upward trajectory, solidifying the Danish pharmaceutical giant’s position as Europe’s most valuable company.
Recent developments in China’s property sector contributed to the positive sentiment in the markets. Several major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, relaxed mortgage requirements for select home buyers, a move that gained momentum over the weekend.
Additionally, Country Garden, one of China’s troubled property developers, agreed with creditors to restructure an upcoming bond repayment.
The news of Country Garden’s restructuring prompted a nearly 15% surge in Hong Kong-listed shares. Other Chinese property developers also benefited from the positive sentiment, with Longfor Group’s Hong Kong-listed shares rising over 8% and Seazen Group witnessing an impressive increase of more than 18%.
Altaf Kassam, Head of Investment Strategy and Research for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at State Street Global Advisors, noted that the Chinese government’s recent actions signal a shift toward protecting the property market and instilling confidence among investors.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices remained near nine-month highs as investors awaited updates on supply plans from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.
The decision from Saudi Arabia on whether to continue or unwind a one million barrel-a-day output cut is expected later this week, with most analysts predicting an extension of the curbs for at least another month.