Asian stocks rise as China pledges to raise minimum wage

<p>Asia’s stocks have made gains as China pledges to raise its minimum wage.</p>

Asia's main stock benchmarks have gained ground this morning (February 6th) on news China has pledged to raise its minimum wage in a bid to close the income gap.

The lowest amount employers will legally be allowed to pay their workers will rise to 40 per cent of average urban salaries by 2015, according to Beijing, which is looking to tackle the gaping difference between the rich and the poor in the world's number two economy.

As the wealth gap has widened, concerns have grown as to the impact this will have on political and social stability.

China's Gini coefficient index – which gauges income disparity in a country – rose to 0.474 in 2012, which is higher than the 0.4 per cent level analysts often cite as the threshold for potential social unrest.

At close of play today, the Shanghai SSE Index was stable at 2434.4 points, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng advanced by 0.4 per cent to 23256.9 points.

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