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China Advances After Measures to Boost Housing

Stocks in China and Hong Kong got a boost on Friday after China’s central bank announced sweeping measures to boost the slumping property market.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index declined 132.88 points, or 0.3%, to 38,787.38, recording a weekly gain of 1.5%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gathered 177.08 points, or 0.9%, to 19,553.61.

Hong Kong listed shares of Chinese property developers jumped in afternoon trade after the People’s Bank of China removed the floor on mortgage rates and lowered down payment requirements for homebuyers in bid to shore up the ailing sector.

Shares of Logan Group popped nearly 7%, Longfor Group was up more than 9%, China Vanke gained 15% and Sunac Group jumped 22%.
Korean markets sagged after the country’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.8% in April.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 grabbed 37.61 points, or 1%, to 3,677.97.

In a series of announcements, the People’s Bank of China said minimum mortgage down payments will be lowered and the floor on minimum mortgage interest rates removed.

Earlier, a slew of data out of China pointed to slowing consumption, as retail sales rose 2.3% in April from a year earlier but missed expectations. Fixed asset investment rose by 4.2% from January to April, but was lower than the 4.6% expected increase.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index lost 28.38 points, or 1%, to 2,724.62.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index gained 8.49 points, or 0.3%, to 3,313.48.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index doffed 45.79 points, or 0.2%, to 21,258.47.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index dropped 28.27 points, or 0.2%, to 11,699.79.

In Australia, the ASX 200 shed 66.92 points, or 0.9%, to 7,814.37.