Asia stocks rise as investors shrug off virus worries
Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia advanced.
On Monday, the Australian state of Victoria prepared to close its border with neighboring New South Wales after cases spiked to a new daily high. Spain suspended access to a northern county due to fears of an outbreak.
“Asia has shrugged off the COVID-19 clouds that dominated the weekend press,” said Jeffrey Halley of OANDA in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 4.8% to 3,302.59 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gained 1.8% to 22,716.17. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 3.5% to 26,245.10.
The Kospi in Seoul rose 1.6% to 2,186.45 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.3% to 6,040.40. India’s Sensex opened up 1.1% at 36,418.98 and New Zealand, Singapore and Jakarta also gained.
This week, investors are looking ahead to interest rate decisions in Australia and Malaysia. The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to keep its benchmark rate at a record low of 0.25% while forecasters expect another cut from Bank Negara Malaysia.
Markets also are watching an election in Singapore and possible unrest in Hong Kong over a security law.
Whether the rally can be sustained “is hugely dependent on how markets react if improving data stabilizes or goes into reverse,” said Stephen Innes of AxiCorp in a report.
On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index ended a shortened four-day trading week up 4%.
The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.5% to a new record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4%.
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude lost 16 cents to $40.49 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 28 cents in London to $43.08 per barrel.
The dollar gained to 107.69 yen from Friday’s 107.52. The euro gained to $1.1290 from $1.1243.