Morning BriefAsia – Pacific Markets Mixed as Japanese Stocks Advance

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.26%.

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday, with mainland Chinese stocks leading gains among the region’s major markets.

By their close, the Shanghai composite gained 2.18% to 3,608.34 while the Shenzhen component rose 2.28% to 15,460.03. Tuesday’s gains put the Shanghai composite above the 3,600 level for the first time since Dec. 2015, according to Wind Information.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced more than 1%, as of its final hour of trading.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.71% to close at 3,125.95. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ended its trading day slightly higher at 28,164.34 while the Topix index advanced 0.16% to close at 1,857.94.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.27% to 6,679.10.

On the coronavirus front, Malaysia’s king on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in the country. That came after Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced Monday that the country would tighten Covid-19 restrictions from Wednesday, with multiple states coming under a lockdown.

The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index slipped 0.58%, as of about 3:31 p.m. local time.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.26%.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 89.28 points to close at 31,008.69. The S&P 500 dipped 0.7% to finish its trading day at 3,799.61 while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 1.3% to close at 13,036.43.

The moves stateside came as House Democrats introduced an article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump for inciting the mob attack at the Capitol last week. Multiple Cabinet-level officials have quit since the riot, with President-elect Joe Biden set to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.416 after its rise from levels below 89.6 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.12 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 103 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7727, after seeing levels above $0.774 in the previous trading week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.7% to $56.05 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.84% to $52.69 per barrel.

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