By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were up Wednesday morning, over receding worries that global shares have rallied too far too fast during the past year. Investors’ focus is now on the U.S.’ $1.9 trillion stimulus package, with hope growing that it will stimulate the global economic recovery from COVID-19.
China’s Shanghai Composite rose 1.05% by 10:12 PM ET (3:12 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component edged up 0.20%. China released February’s Caixin services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) earlier in the day, which stood at 51.5 against January’s 52 figure.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.64% and South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.45%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.35%. Japan’s own services PMI for February was 46.3, higher than January's 46.1 reading.
In Australia, the ASX 200 rose 0.80%. The country’s GDP grew 3.1% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2021, higher that the 2.5% growth in forecasts prepared by Investing.com but lower than the 3.3% growth recorded in the third quarter. The GDP shrank 1.1% year-on-year, which was less than the forecast 1.8% contraction and the third quarter’s 3.7% drop.
Treasury yields retreated on Tuesday, amid comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard that bond-market volatility could further delay any pullback in the Fed’s asset purchases.
Valuations have become a point of focus after hopes for a massive U.S stimulus package drove a run up in risk assets.
Investors also continued to digest a stark warning from Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.
“From a banking and insurance industry’s perspective, the first step is to reduce the high leverage within the financial system,” Guo said during a Tuesday briefing in Beijing.
Speculation in the property market is “very dangerous” and bubbles in U.S. and European financial markets may soon burst, he added.
There are worries from other corners as well, with a Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) gauge implying that bullishness among Wall Street strategists is approaching levels that have predicated potential trouble for shares.
“We believe we’re still very much in a bull market, but certain pullbacks like the one we’ve seen since the beginning of this year are very natural and sometimes needed,” Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Private Wealth Management senior vice president Katerina Simonetti told Bloomberg.
“If interest rates start moving higher and quicker than expected, then there’s a chance there might be more significant pullback in the market,” she added.