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Asian stocks surge amid rate cut hopes; India rallies on election cheer


Investing.com– Most Asian stocks rose sharply on Monday as speculation over interest rate cuts by major central banks boosted appetite for risk-driven assets.

Technology-heavy indexes were among the best performers for the day, boosted by chipmakers after market darling NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) unveiled a new line of artificial intelligence chips, as demand from the rapidly growing industry saw the firm clock bumper quarterly earnings.

India’s Nifty 50 index was also a top performer for the day, rallying to record highs as exit polls showed the NDA alliance, led by the BJP party, was set to sweep the 2024 general elections.

Regional stocks tracked a strong finish on Wall Street on Friday, as an in-line reading on a key inflation reading saw traders increase positioning for an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in September. U.S. stock index futures rose in Asian trade.

Focus this week is on interest rate decisions in Europe and Canada. Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Canada are widely expected to begin trimming interest rates, potentially sparking monetary loosening across the globe.

The Fed is also set to meet next week, although the central bank is expected to keep rates steady.

Asian tech stocks lead gains on AI hype

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and South Korea’s KOSPI were among the top performers for the day, surging between 2% and 2.5%. Chipmakers including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (HK:0981) and SK Hynix Inc (KS:000660) clocked strong gains on the Nvidia news.

The Taiwan Weighted index rose 1.9%, boosted by a nearly 4% jump in TSMC (TW:2330). The contract chipmaker, which is Nvidia’s biggest supplier and a key beneficiary of an AI boom, surged to a record high.

Gains in tech saw Japan’s Nikkei 225 index add 0.8%, while Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.7%.

India’s Nifty 50 hits record high on election cheer

India’s Nifty 50 index rallied as much as 3% to a record high of 23,321 points, after a slew of exit polls released over the weekend indicated that the NDA alliance, led by the incumbent BJP party, was set to win the 2024 general elections- presenting a third consecutive term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Strength in the Nifty was telegraphed by a spike in Gift Nifty 50 Futures, which surged about 3.5% before the market open.

Local and foreign investors have largely welcomed Modi’s business-friendly policies, which saw outsized economic growth in India in recent years, and also saw the Nifty 50 clock a series of record highs. Manufacturing and infrastructure stocks are set to benefit from another BJP term.

The official results of the elections are due on Tuesday morning.

Chinese stocks lag amid mixed PMIs

China’s Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes rose marginally on Monday, lagging their Asian peers after recent purchasing managers index data painted a mixed picture of the economy.

Private PMI data on Monday showed that the country’s manufacturing sector grew more than expected in May and expanded for a seventh consecutive month. But this largely contrasted with official PMI data last week, which showed an unexpected contraction in the manufacturing sector.

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