Thursday, December 1, 2011

Central Banks coordinated move - lower USD Swap lines by 50 bp

TOKYO: Asian shares extended gains on Thursday after the world's six major central banks moved to tame a liquidity crunch for European banks by providing cheaper dollar funding. 

MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan jumped 1.3 percent, after U.S. stocks rallied 4 percent and European equities rose 2 percent on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei opened up 1.7 percent on Thursday. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the central banks of Canada, Britain, Japan and Switzerland said on Wednesday they would lower the cost of existing dollar swap lines by 50 basis points from Dec. 5, and arrange bilateral swaps to provide liquidity for other currencies. 

A move by China on Wednesday to cut the percentage of cash banks must keep as reserves also boosted sentiment. 

The central banks' move aims to thaw severe funding strains for European banks as lenders had been extremely reluctant due to concerns over the eurozone's ability to quickly resolve its debt crisis, and could warm investor stance towards risk.