Asian Markets

Asian Markets Edge Lower, Investors React to China’s Trade Data

Shares in Asia-Pacific were higher on Tuesday as investors reacted to China’s trade data for June.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains regionally as it jumped 1.63% to close at 27,963.41.

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Hang Seng Index Performance Chart

In mainland China, the Shanghai composite rose 0.53% to close at 3,566.52 while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.183% on the day to 15,189.29.

China’s exports in June jumped 32.2% as compared with a year earlier, customs data showed Tuesday. That was much higher than a forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll for a 23.1% growth in exports for June.

The data also showed Chinese imports in June surging 36.7%. That compared against an estimate for imports to have increased 30%, according to Reuters.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan closed 0.52% higher at 28,718.24 while the Topix index ended the trading day 0.73% higher at 1,967.64. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.77% to close at 3,271.38.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 finished the trading day little changed at 7,332.10. While MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose around 0.93%

Overnight stateside, the major indexes on Wall Street rose to record closing highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 126.02 points to 34,996.18 while the S&P 500 gained about 0.35% to 4,384.63. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.21% to 14,733.24.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.35 as it struggled to return to levels above 92.7 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.34 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 110 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7481, above levels around $0.745 seen yesterday.

Oil prices climbed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, reversing some of the previous day’s losses, as tight supply and expectations of a further draw in U.S. crude inventories provided support, although fears over the spreading COVID-19 variant capped gains.

Brent crude for September rose 19 cents, or 0.3%, to $75.35 a barrel by 0421 GMT, after losing 0.5% on Monday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for August was at $74.34 a barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.3%, having fallen 0.6% the previous day.

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