Hong Kong stocks swung between gains and losses after hitting an 18-month high as optimism about increasing foreign securities investments boosted Chinese shares, tempering concern about the U.S. government debt.
Gavin Parry , managing director of Hong Kong-based Parry International Trading Ltd., comments on the reaction in financial markets after Yonhap News reported that South Korea had scrambled fighter jets and returned fire after North Korea lobbed dozens of shells into its territory.
U.S. stock-index futures tumbled after House Republican leaders canceled a planned vote on Speaker John Boehner’s plan to raise rates for taxpayers making more than $1 million, as time runs down in budget talks.
South Korea banned equity short sales while the two biggest state-run funds said they may boost investments as the government seeks to shore up a market that had its biggest six-day drop in three years.
Bank of China Hong Kong Ltd. cut its interest rate for yuan deposits in Hong Kong after money held in the accounts rose to a record in February, reflecting increased demand for trade and investment in the currency.
Vietnam’s stocks slumped the most in Asia on speculation the detention of a banking tycoon this week will lead to further arrests in the financial industry. The benchmark money-market rate climbed to a four-month high.