Asian markets: China Shanghai Composite Index gains following ECB stimulus
The entire clutch of Asian stock market indices were trading higher on 11 MarchReuters

All Asian stock market indices were trading higher, with China's Shanghai Composite Index up 0.23% at 2,811.16 on Friday 11 March at 5.23am GMT. This came after a weak close on Wall Street and FTSE overnight, but Asian markets have reacted positively to the rate cut announcement by the European Central Bank (ECB).

The central bank eased its monetary policy by cutting interest rates on 10 March from 0.05% to 0%. The policy makers also said the ECB is expanding the European asset purchasing programme by €20bn (£15.65bn, $22.34bn) to €80bn a month. The expansion of the QE programme will start in April and the ECB is widening the scope of products that can be purchased.

However, the ECB said it was running out of space to reduce interest rates, even though other options of providing financial stimulus remained. ECB president Mario Draghi also hinted that there would not be any more rate cuts. He said: "From today's perspective and taking into account the support of our measures to growth and inflation, we don't anticipate that it will be necessary to reduce rates further."

Peter Dragicevich, strategist at Commonwealth Bank said: "The package of measures that was announced was more than the market had been anticipating. The emphasis is now shifting more towards 'unconventional tools' with credit a key part of the story."

Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 11 March at 5.34am GMT:

Country

Index

Price

Up/Down

%Change

Hong Kong

Hang Seng Index

20,145.30

Up

0.81%

Japan

Nikkei 225

16,984.88

Up

0.79%

South Korea

KOSPI

1,975.02

Up

0.29%

India

CNX Nifty

7,541.30

Up

0.74%

Australia

S&P/ASX 200

5,166.40

Up

0.32%

Meanwhile, overnight on Thursday (10 March), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 16,995.13, down 0.03%, while the FTSE 100 closed lower by 1.78% at 6,036.70.

Among commodities, WTI crude oil was trading 2.33% higher at $38.72 (£27.13, €34.66) a barrel, while Brent was up 1.9% at $40.81 a barrel on 11 March at 5.45am GMT.