Asian stocks held their ground on Tuesday although Chinese equities surged to a fresh two-month high as domestic funds piled into financial counters on the expectation the world’s second-biggest economy may have turned a corner.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2% on Tuesday and held below a 19-month peak hit last Thursday. The index is up more than 11% since December 23, which marked the trough in a sell-off triggered by Donald Trump’s surprise win at the US election in November.
With US markets closed for the Presidents’ Day on Monday, Asian markets have had few global cues off which to trade.
Chinese stocks led regional gainers with mainland indices extending a nearly 7% rise over the past month thanks to an influx of fresh funds from domestic institutional investors and a brightening outlook for the domestic economy.