Asian stock markets posted a surg on Monday as silver prices saw strong gains.
South Korea’s Kospi led gains among the region’s major markets, jumping 2.7% to close at 3,056.53 as shares of biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion soared 14.51%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also saw robust gains, advancing 2.15% to finish its trading day at 28,892.86.
Mainland Chinese stocks nudged higher on the day as the Shanghai composite rose 0.64% to 3,505.28 while the Shenzhen component advanced 1.365% to 15,024.24.
A private survey showed Chinese manufacturing activity growth slowing in January, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) coming in at 51.5. That compared against expectations for a reading of 52.7 by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Figures above 50 in PMI readings represent expansion, while those below that level signify contraction.
The latest Caixin numbers came a day after China released its official PMI for January, which was at 51.3. In comparison, the reading for December was 51.9. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the figure for January to come in at 51.6.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.55% to close at 28,091.05 in while the Topix index advanced 1.16% to finish its trading day at 1,829.84.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.84% higher to close at 6,663. Shares of several Australia-listed miners surged in Monday trade: Argent Minerals soared 59.65% while Adriatic Metals jumped 19.82% and South32 gained 3.94%. That came as spot silver prices rose, last trading more than 10% higher at $29.78 an ounce.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1.95%.
Asian Trading Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.554 after recently rising from levels below 90.3.
The Japanese yen traded at 104.69 per dollar following its weakening last week from levels below 104 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.765, having slipped from levels above $0.768 last week.
In the oil markets, international benchmark Brent crude futures rose 1.02% in the afternoon of Asia trading hours to $55.60 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.88% to $52.66 per barrel.