By V. Phani Kumar, Colin Ng and Wei-Zhe Tan
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Asian stock markets got a bump up Monday as European nations and the International Monetary Fund agreed to a massive loan program intended to protect vulnerable euro-zone nations such as Greece, stoking risk appetite and boosting financial and resource shares.
In foreign-exchange trading, the euro as well as several Asian currencies also bounced after the European nations and the IMF said they will jointly put together a plan carrying a value of 750 billion euros ($977 billion) to ensure stability in the euro zone, while the Japanese yen and the U.S. dollar gave up some recent gains.
At the same time, the European Central Bank said it would intervene in the euro zone's debt markets to "ensure depth and liquidity in those market segments which are dysfunctional."
"This is the biggest-ever attempt to support Europe and could mark a turning point in the confidence crisis that hit the periphery in the last few weeks," said RBS economist Jacques Cailloux.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average of 225 companies ended up 1.6%, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 jumped 2.7%, China's Shanghai Composite overcame volatile trading to finish 0.4% higher, South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.8% and Taiwan's Taiex rose 1.3%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rallied 2.5%, extending gains in afternoon trading as heavyweight HSBC Holdings surged after European markets opened, tracking the steep rise in banking shares there. Read full story on European stocks.
Shares of HSBC /zigman2/quotes/202687335/delayed HK:5 +0.16% climbed 5.6%, while Standard Chartered /zigman2/quotes/208435361/delayed SCBFF -4.09% /zigman2/quotes/202369078/delayed HK:2888 -0.40% advanced 4.2%. The gains in HSBC were supported after the bank said that its U.S. business had made a quarterly profit before taxes for the first time in nearly three years as a result of lower loan-impairment charges.
IMF Approves loan For Greece
The International Monetary Fund has unanimously approved a 30 billion euro rescue loan for debt-stricken Greece. Video Courtesy of Reuters.
In afternoon trading, India's Sensex gained 3.1%, Indonesian stocks rose 4.1%, Singapore's Straits Times Index added 2.4% and Thailand's SET Index rose 1.3%. In the Philippines, markets were closed for election day.
Picking up from the global trend, Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.88% futures moved more than 300 points higher in screen trade, pointing toward a major rebound after four straight days of declines for the blue-chip benchmark. Read full story on U.S. stock futures.
"If [the European Union] had done this back in January, it probably wouldn't have cost half as much. But at least they've done it and it's going down particularly well with the markets," said Michael Heffernan, senior client adviser at Austock Stockbroking.
Martin Lakos, Macquarie's private-wealth division director in Sydney, said attention may now shift back to the U.S. economy, where stronger jobs growth and robust corporate earnings could generate a solid bounce in equities. "It's possible we've seen the lows from this crisis, notwithstanding anything out of left field," he said.
Financial stocks fronted the gains across the region, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group /zigman2/quotes/207520099/delayed JP:8306 -0.07% climbing 1.7% and Nomura Holdings /zigman2/quotes/207276383/composite NMR -1.41% /zigman2/quotes/206251373/delayed JP:8604 -1.67% rising 1.6% in Tokyo, while United Overseas Bank /zigman2/quotes/203701285/delayed SG:U11 +0.05% /zigman2/quotes/208561129/delayed UOVEY -0.61% jumped 3.7% in Singapore, Commonwealth Bank of Australia /zigman2/quotes/207018701/delayed CBAUF -0.24% /zigman2/quotes/200638713/delayed AU:CBA -0.97% soared 5.2%, KB Financial Group /zigman2/quotes/200043823/composite KB -1.33% surged 5.4% in Seoul, and HDFC Bank /zigman2/quotes/205576242/composite HDB -2.47% climbed 3.9% in Mumbai trading.
Property sector shares found buyers on Chinese bourses, a reversal after most of them lost heavily in the past few days on worries policy tightening may hit credit flows toward the sector and also dampen consumer demand. Gemdale Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208026094/delayed CN:600383 +4.89% rose 3.7% in Shanghai as Cofco Property (Group) Co. /zigman2/quotes/204983381/delayed CN:000031 +2.37% gained 2% in Shenzhen.
Peabody's rethink on Macarthur offer
Regional resource shares jumped as the U.S. dollar's weakness spurred prices of commodities.