Asian stocks were firm on Tuesday after China’s latest step to prop up its faltering economy lifted global equities, while the euro was pressured on growing worries a cash-strapped Greece may default on its debt. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.3 percent. It was led by a 1.5 percent rise in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index .HSCE, which had been on a 3-week roll driven by Chinese portfolio investments.
Japan’s Nikkei .N225 added a percent, while Australian shares rose 0.6 percent .AXJO. Following Europe’s solid performance on Monday, financial spreadbetters expect Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE to open around 0.1 percent lower and France’s CAC 40 .FCHI down 0.2 percent, while Germany’s DAX .GDAXI was seen opening up 0.1 percent.
China’s central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash banks must hold as reserves in its latest attempt to spur lending and combat a slowing economy. The news followed reports last week about a crackdown on margin lending there, which had sent global equity markets lower on Friday. “China’s action undid the damage caused by the crackdown (on speculative buying in Chinese stocks on Friday),” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.