Asian Markets Edge Higher, Singapore’s Economy Expands 1.3% in 1Q21
Shares in Asia-Pacific rose on Tuesday, as investors watched tech shares following overnight gains in the sector stateside.
Mainland Chinese stocks led gains regionally, with the Shanghai composite rising 2.4% on the day to 3,581.34 while the Shenzhen component advanced 2.343% to 14,846.45. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index jumped 1.75% to close at 28,910.86.
Taiwan’s Taiex also saw robust gains, rising 1.58% to close at 16,595.67.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.67% to close at 28,553.98 while the Topix index also advanced 0.34% to end the trading day at 1,919.52. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.86% to close at 3,171.32.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.98% higher at 7,115.20.
In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s economy expanded by 1.3% year-on-year in the first quarter, data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry released Tuesday showed. The ministry also announced it would maintain Singapore’s GDP growth forecast for 2021 at “4.0 to 6.0 per cent.” The Straits Times index in Singapore gained 0.72% to 3,146.09 on Tuesday.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan jumped 1.46%.
China’s Kuaishou Technology, whose Hong Kong-listed shares plunged more 11.46% on Tuesday announced on Monday a 36.6% jump in its first-quarter revenues compared to the same period of 2020.
Meanwhile, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi saw its Hong Kong-listed stock surge 4.13% after FTSE Russell announced Monday that the firm will be reincluded into its indexes. Earlier in May, the U.S. agreed to remove Xiaomi from a blacklist that would have barred Americans from investing in the firm.
Hong Kong-listed shares of other Chinese tech firms were largely positive, with Tencent rising 4.18% while Alibaba edged 0.49% higher.
Elsewhere, shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group gained 0.54% while South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix saw its stock jump 2.93%.
Those moves came following a bounce for tech stocks stateside. Overnight on Wall Street, Alphabet — the parent of Google, Facebook and Microsoft all rose more than 2%.
Asian Markets Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.582 — lower than levels above 90 seen recently.
The Japanese yen traded at 108.76 per dollar, stronger than levels around 108.9 against the greenback seen yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7764, following a bounce yesterday from around $0.772.
Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.57% at $68.07 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.71% to $65.58 per barrel.