Hong Kong CNN —
First Republic Bank (FRC) is set to receive a $30 billion lifeline from a group of America’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (CBEAX), Citigroup (C) and Truist (TFC).
The news calmed panicked investors, who worried about a banking crisis in the aftermath of the collapse of two US banks and the turmoil at Credit Suisse. On Thursday, US stocks closed higher, with tech shares staging a rally.
On Friday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) opened higher and rose 1.8% by the afternoon, leading gains in the region. China’s Shanghai Composite gained 1.4%. Japan’s Nikkei (N225) increased 1.2%, and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.7%.
The indices have recouped some losses after heavy declines on Thursday.
Chinese tech, property and financial shares rallied across the board. Baidu soared 16% in Hong Kong, after some securities firms gave positive preliminary reviews of the company’s ChatGPT-like app.
Country Garden surged more than 9%, leading real estate developers higher, after China’s property market showed early signs of recovery. Official data indicated on Thursday that new home prices for February rose for the first time since August 2021.
“Following the recent global financial instabilities, First Republic Bank was expected to be the next domino to fall,” said Yeap Jun Rong, a market analyst at IG. “But an industry-wide rescue to shore up the bank’s finances provided some much-needed reassurances to mitigate further banking jitters.”
Global investors have been holding their collective breaths for a week after the rapid collapse of two US banks stoked fears about the health of the banking sector.
Worries deepened on Wednesday after shares of Credit Suisse plummeted in Europe. Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have taken emergency measures to shore up confidence, including protecting deposits at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and giving a $54 billion lifeline to Credit Suisse.
On Thursday, European shares closed higher after Credit Suisse received credit support, and the European Central Bank stuck with its plan to hike interest rates by half a percentage point.
“This [ECB rate hike] is good news against the background of persistently high inflation rates,” Ulrike Kastens, economist for Europe at DWS, wrote in a research note on Friday. “At the same time, it reaffirms its intention to intervene with liquidity measures if financial market stability is threatened.”
Investors are now awaiting the Federal Reserve’s rate decision next week. They widely expect the US central bank to raise rates by 25 basis points.