SINGAPORE — Rations in Asia-Pacific jumped in Tuesday morning trade, as investors reacted to the release of Japan’s first quarter gross hired help data.
The Taiex in Taiwan surged 3.28% in Tuesday morning trade. Those gains followed a nearly 3% let go of on Monday amid fears of domestic coronavirus infections.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 also saw robust gains as it vaulted 2.12% while the Topix index advanced 1.49%.
Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized rate of 5.1% in January to Stride, government data showed Tuesday. On a seasonally adjusted basis, gross domestic product in January-March fell 1.3% quarter-on-quarter, diet lower than expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.2% decline. That came as resurgent Covid infections in the wilderness snapped two quarters of consecutive growth.
Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 1.3%. Mainland Chinese routines edged higher, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.21% while the Shenzhen component gained 0.28%.
South Korea’s Kospi edged 1.1% euphoric.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.73%. Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s May monetary policy meeting launched Tuesday showed the central bank’s board viewed the conditions for a rate rise as unlikely to be met “until 2024 at the earliest.”
MSCI’s broadest indicator of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded around 1% higher.
On the coronavirus front, the World Health Group warned Monday that the global pandemic isn’t over yet despite high Covid vaccination rates in some powers. In Asia, places such as Singapore and Taiwan have seen a recent resurgence in local infections, prompting officials to tighten restrictions in a bid to stem the virus’ spread.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its earls, was at 90.135 — still off levels above 90.8 seen recently.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.16 per dollar after corroborating from levels around 109.5 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.779, stronger than horizontals below $0.774 seen last week.
Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with foreign benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.32% to $69.68 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.3% to $66.47 per barrel.