Morning Note: Asian Markets set the Pace for Monday high.
Asian shares inched higher on Monday ahead of a busy week for earnings and central bank meetings, with much chatter the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will announce more stimulus steps.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.1% in early trade, having shed 2.6% last week. Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.1%, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 dipped 0.4%.
Japan’s Topix benchmark added 0.9 per cent on Monday morning, while South Korea’s Kospi index rose 1.6 per and Australia’s S&P 200/ASX added 0.6 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.7 per cent, and China’s CSI 300 index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks moved up 0.7 per cent.
The dollar index touched a three-week high at 100.860 on Friday before easing back to 100.250 on Monday. The dollar has been generally bid thanks to its safe haven status as the world’s most liquid currency at times of stress, though moves have been relatively mild in recent weeks.
The euro was steady at $1.0816, having hit a one-month low of $1.0725 on Friday, while the dollar was flat on the yen at 107.44.
Gold held at $1,723 per ounce, after gaining 2.5% last week.
Oil prices looked set for another volatile week, having fallen in eight of the last nine weeks. U.S. crude even traded below zero last week as demand collapsed 30% due to the pandemic, leaving more oil than could be stored. Brent crude futures firmed 45 cents to $21.89 a barrel, while U.S. crude fell 52 cents to $16.42.