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Daily Scan: Asian shares post best month in six years; Bank of Japan slashes growth, inflation forecasts

By NexChange
Capital Markets

Updated throughout the day

October 30

Asian bourses turned in their best monthly performance in more than six years as dreams of stimulus propelled prices higher. Friday was a bit of bust -- Asia-ex Japan finished lower on Friday. And, ironically, the Nikkei 225 notched gains after the Bank of Japan declined to expand its stimulus program. Go figure. Here's what happened in October:

Day
Week
Month

Hang Seng Index
-0.79%
-1.89%
+8.60%

Hang Seng China Enterprises Index
-0.41%
-2.96%
+10.54%

Shanghai Composite
-0.14%
-1.36%
+10.80%

Shenzhen Composite
+0.02%
-0.82%
+17.36%

Nikkei 225
+0.78%
+1.46%
+9.75%

Straits Times Index
-0.09%
-2.33%
+7.40%

European bourses meanwhile are edging upwards, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 is currently up 0.05%, Germany’s DAX 30 is up 0.37%, and France’s CAC 40 is up 0.41%. As for Wall Street, S&P 500 futures have so far climbed 0.32%.

Here’s what else you need to know:

RBS, BNP profits beat estimates. BNP Paribas’ third quarter net income rose to $2.01 billion, beating a $1.85 billion showing expected by analysts, while the Royal Bank of Scotland, despite a massive hit from litigation, misconduct and restructuring costs, posted $1.46 billion in attributable profit, thrashing forecasts of a $276 million loss. Reuters / Financial Times

German retail sales miss forecasts. German retail sales grew 3.4% in September versus the previous year, a pretty good climb compared to August’s revised 2.1% growth rate. Unfortunately, it’s a hair shy of the 4.1% showing analysts had been expecting. Financial Times (paywall)

Italian unemployment falls to two-year low. Things are looking good over in Italy. According to the nation’s statistics bureau, Istat, unemployment in the country fell to 11.8% – its lowest level since January 2013. Istat

Bank of Japan stands pat. In an 8-1 vote, the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board decided to keep its stimulus program unchanged. Shortly after the closing bell, the bank also decided to slash its growth forecast and push back the time frame for its 2% inflation target. Bank of Japan (pdf)

Samsung sells chemicals business to Lotte. In another chaebol to chaebol deal, South Korea’s Lotte Group is set to acquire Samsung’s chemical business for around $2.63 billion. The deal reportedly includes 31% of Samsung Fine Chemicals and 90% of Samsung SDI’s chemicals operation.

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