Asian Markets Jump; Oil Prices Surge as Investors React to Biden’s Win
Stocks in Asia-Pacific jumped on Monday as investors in the region reacted to Democrat Joe Biden’s defeat of incumbent Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.12% to close at 24,839.84 while the Topix index added 1.41% to end its trading day at 1,681.90. South Korea’s Kospi also rose 1.27% to close at 2,447.20.
Mainland Chinese stocks also saw robust gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 1.86% to about 3,373.73 while the Shenzhen component gained 2.188% to around 14,141.15. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced about 1%, as of its final hour of trading. China’s exports surged 11.4% in October as compared to a year earlier, according to official statistics released over the weekend.
Shares in Australia were also higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 1.75% to close at 6,298.80. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.17%.
Shares of tech firms in Asia rose on Monday. In Japan, shares of conglomerate Softbank Group surged 5.37%. South Korea’s Kakao Games gained 1.73%. Chinese tech firms in listed in Hong Kong also saw gains. As of their final hour of trading on Monday, shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent added 1.38% while Alibaba gained 2.84%.
China’s largest chipmaker SMIC, which has come under scrutiny by the Trump administration, saw its Hong Kong-listed stock rise 2.28%. ZTE also saw a sharp rise as it gained 4.51%.
The broader Hang Seng Tech index surged 2.83%. The Nasdaq-style ChiNext board on the mainland added 3.174% on the day to around 3,222.85.
Taiwan-listed shares of Apple-supplier Pegatron bucked the overall trend as they fell 2.09%. The moves came as Bloomberg reported that the Cupertino-based tech juggernaut has suspended new business with Pegatron after discovering labor violations.
Former U.S. vice president Biden won following his projected win in the states of Pennsylvania as well as Nevada, according to NBC News projections on Saturday. Still, Trump is refusing to concede the election, claiming it’s “far from over.”
Meanwhile, on the coronavirus front, infections continue to surge stateside. The U.S. recently reported more than 126,000 new infections for two day in a row. Globally, the number of coronavirus infections crossed the 50 million mark on Sunday, according to Reuters.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 2.26% to $40.34 per barrel. U.S. crude futures jumped 2.32% to $38 per barrel.
The onshore Chinese yuan strengthened to 6.5727 per dollar, after seeing levels above 6.65 last week. Meanwhile, its offshore counterpart changed hands at 6.5559 against the greenback.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.183 following a decline in recent days from levels above 93.1.
The Japanese yen traded at 103.52 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 104.3 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7286 after last week’s rise from levels below $0.711.