Asian Markets

Asian Markets Edge Higher as China’s Exports in August Beat Expectations

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher on Tuesday, as China’s August trade data came in above expectations.

The Shanghai Composite in mainland China rose 1.51% to close at 3,676.59 while the Shenzhen component advanced 1.074% to 14,702.90.

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Shanghai Composite Index Performance Chart

China’s exports jumped 25.6% year-over-year in August, customs data showed Tuesday — above expectations for a 17.1% rise by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.73% to close at 26,353.63.

Shares of retail firms listed in the city rose after Bloomberg reported that Hong Kong will start allowing quarantine-free entry for mainland visitors from Sept. 15. Chow Sang Sang jumped 5.53% while Giordano International gained 6.49% and Sa Sa International surged 10.53%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.86% to close at 29,916.14 while the Topix index advanced 1.09% to 2,063.38, with shares in the country continuing to trek upward after two straight trading days of solid gains. That comes as investor sentiment is buoyed by the prospect of more stimulus that has reportedly been called for by prime minister contender Fumio Kishida.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi dipped 0.5% to end the trading day at 3,187.42 while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed little changed at 7,530.30 while the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed.

The Reserve Bank of Australia announced Tuesday its decision to hold steady on the cash rate target.

In a statement, the Australian central bank’s governor Philip Lowe also said the RBA will purchase bonds at a rate of 4 billion Australian dollars (about $2.98 billion) a week until at least February 2022.

In August, when the plan to start tapering the bond purchases in early September to 4 billion from 5 billion Australian dollars was announced, Lowe had said the new weekly bond purchases would last till at least mid-November.

The Australian dollar briefly surged above $0.746 before later losing those gains — last changing hands at $0.7413.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.248 — still off levels above 92.4 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.96 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.1 seen against the greenback last week.

Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 0.4% to $72.51 per barrel. U.S. crude futures dipped 0.36% to $69.04 per barrel.

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