Asian markets jump out to strong gains to start the week
Asian stock markets posted nearly across-the-board gains in early trading Monday, with South Korea the lone holdout.
The iron-and-steel sector led gains in Japan, helping push the Nikkei NIK, +0.86% up almost 1%. Kobe Steel 5406, +1.51% , Sumitomo Metal 5713, +1.75% and Aichi Steel 5482, +1.49% were all up more than 1%. That came as the dollar hovered around ¥111.30, providing additional support to the stock market. Toyota 7203, +1.86% is up more than 1.6% early. The Nikkei has already risen four straight days.
Hong Kong stocks jumped, with the Hang Seng HSI, +2.06% up 1.8% after two days of declines. Energy and tech shares shined, with Sinopec 0386, +4.65% extending recent strength with a 3.8% gain following its earnings report. Tech heavyweight Tencent 0700, +1.36% rose 1.4%, turning positive for August.
Chinese stocks started strong, nearly matching the gains seen in Hong Kong. Perhaps helped by the end-of-week jump in the yuan, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.43% was up 0.8% and the Shenzhen Composite 399106, +2.01% rose 1.6%. Improving expectations about the currency should help equities rebound near-term, Essence Securities said.
Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.26% was struggling to make gains following its best week since early March. Construction stocks were down sharply, with cement firm Busan 011390, -8.92% skidding 11%.
Indexes in Australia XJO, +0.36% and New Zealand NZ50GR, +0.43% were barely up, but benchmarks in Taiwan Y9999, +0.77% , Singapore STI, +0.66% and Malaysia FBMKLCI, +0.16% all gained 0.5% or more in early trading.
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