Asian Stock MarketsAsian Markets Edge Higher, Australia Stocks Recover from Dip

A man walks past a screen displaying share prices inside the Osaka Securities Exchange building, operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Osaka, Japan, [Photo/Bloomberg]

Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly rose on Monday trade, with Australian stocks recovering from an earlier slip as Covid cases in the country spike.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.54% to close at 27,789.29 while the Topix index gained 1.11% to 1,950.14. South Korea’s Kospi ended the trading day up 0.33% at 3,144.19.

asia markets
Nikkei 225 Index Performance Chart

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed on the day as the Shanghai composite rose 0.17% to 3,528.15, while the Shenzhen component dipped fractionally to 14,423.37. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.52% higher at 25,539.54.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.22% higher at 7,504.50. The country’s most populous state New South Wales had reported on Monday a record one-day rise in new Covid-19 infections, according to Reuters.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.91%. Investors in the region looked ahead to the release of earnings from Chinese food delivery giant Meituan on Monday.

In other Chinese tech developments, Beijing is reportedly looking at new rules that would restrict domestic internet firms from going public in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal.

Shares of Meituan in Hong Kong rose 1.51% on Monday ahead of the earnings release. Other Chinese tech shares in Hong Kong were mixed: Tencent slipped 0.13% while Alibaba gained 1.48%. The Hang Seng Tech index climbed 1.09% to 6,391.17.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.25% to $72.52 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.81% to $68.18 per barrel. Those moves came as investors assessed the impact of a hurricane on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.692 following a recent drop from above 93.0.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.84 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.5 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7302, having climbed last week from below $0.72.

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