Hong Kong: Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, the last day of a torrid second quarter, as investors added to trades based on a rebound in economic activity, while funds slashed bets against a fall in oil prices to keep crude on track for its biggest quarterly gain in 19 years.
The dollar slid as momentum kept dealers rolling out of trades based on safety after a 7% drop on the quarter, keeping commodity prices supported.
Trading volumes for oil in Asia surged 10 times normal levels, with crude for August delivery rising briefly above $73 (around Rs3,500) a barrel to new highs for the year.
Emerging markets have been the big winners so far this year, with the MSCI emerging markets equities index up by about a third so far this year, at least five times the percentage gains of the all-country world index in the same period.
With the worst of the financial crisis now history, a tremendous shift by investors out of cash and low-yielding money market instruments into riskier assets, particularly in Asia, has been driving equity valuations and currencies in the region higher. So far this year, Chinese and Indian stock markets have been the hottest in the region.
The Shanghai composite slipped 0.5% on the day after earlier hitting the highest since June 2008, and has risen 63% so far this year.
Japan’s Nikkei share average finished 1.8% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.8% lower after investors took some profits on the quarter’s huge gains. South Korean shares closed the quarter with a 15.2% gain.