Asian Shares Rise In Thin Holiday Trading

Asian stocks rose broadly on Tuesday despite lingering concerns about the spike in coronavirus cases in the region.

China was closed for Labor Day, while the Japanese markets were closed for Greenery Day. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 199.60 points, or 0.7 percent, to 28,557.14.

Ending a long and severe recession, Hong Kong’s economy grew at the fastest pace in more than a decade in the first quarter of 2021, advance estimate from the Census and Statistics Department showed.

GDP grew 7.8 percent from a year earlier, in contrast to the decrease of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter, underpinned by robust exports.

Australian markets eked out modest gains as the country’s central bank maintained its monetary policy as widely expected and repeated that it will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 percent target range.

Meanwhile, economic reports on trade balance and home loan commitments proved to be a mixed bag. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 39.10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,067.90, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 36.70 points, or 0.5 percent, at 7,323.50.

Mining heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto jumped around 2.5 percent, while energy stocks such as Oil Search and Santos gained around 2 percent. Gold miners Evolution Mining and Northern Star Resources soared 3-4 percent after gold prices climbed overnight.

Banks ANZ and Westpac fell around 1 percent each. In the tech sector, Appen, Afterpay, Xero and WiseTech Global lost 1-3 percent.

Treasury Wine Estates rallied 3.2 percent after it inked a deal with America’s second largest drinks distributor Republic National Distributing Company.

Travel agency Flight Centre slumped 4.6 percent after it forecast an underlying loss of around $250 million in the second half.

Seoul stocks rose to snap a five-day losing streak amid institutional buying. The benchmark Kospi ended up 20.17 points, or 0.6 percent, at 3,147.37 after falling nearly 0.6 percent earlier in the day to reach its lowest level since April 5.

Heavyweights Samsung Electronics, LG Chem and Hyundai Motor rallied 1-2 percent ahead of a public holiday on Wednesday.

South Korea’s consumer inflation accelerated to a near four-year high in April amid rising oil and agricultural prices, Statistics Korea said today.

New Zealand shares rallied, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index ending up 143.35 points, or 1.1 percent, at 12,912.19. Mainfreight shares hit a 52-week high before closing 2.2 percent higher at $75.00. A2 Milk added 3.4 percent.

U.S. stocks ended mixed overnight as Treasuries rose and data showed growth at manufacturers cooled in April.

The Dow climbed 0.7 percent and the S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed half a percent.

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