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Asian Pacific Stocks Edge Higher, India Markets Close for Holiday.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher in Monday trade, as India’s markets are closed for a holiday.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 1.2% in afternoon trade while the Topix index advanced 0.79%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.12%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by the afternoon as the Shanghai composite gained 0.12% while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.692%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.33%.

Shares in Australia bucked the overall trend regionally as the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.19%.

asia markets 29-03-2021

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.35% higher.

In corporate developments, shares of Chinese video platform Bilibili slumped in their debut in Hong Kong on Monday, falling more than 5% from their issue price in early trading. It later recovered from some of those losses but remained more than 2% lower than the issue price by Monday afternoon.

However, markets in India were closed today for a holiday.

The news comes as optimism about world growth as markets took to President Joe Biden to outline his infrastructure spending plans this week, which could supercharge an already accelerating U.S. recovery.

“We expect the global economy to expand robustly at 6.4% this year, fuelled by a large U.S. fiscal stimulus, with positive spillovers for the rest of the world,” Barclays economist Christian Keller.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

Oil prices fell in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures declining 1.39% to $63.67 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 1.59% to $60 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.774 after rising earlier this month from levels below 92.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.51 per dollar, having weakened last week from levels below 109 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7632, falling a decline last week from above $0.768

Read also: Asian Markets Gain on Economic Growth Outlook and Vaccine Rollouts Progress.