Asian Shares Push Higher, Economic Recovery Speed Diverges

Asian shares edge higher on Tuesday, with markets shrugging off worries about increasing regional COVID-19 infections. Moreover, the session on Wall Street has been subdued. 

Monday’s session was mixed, followed by a rise of 1.06% in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan. The market is still recovering from the last few weeks amid new virus cases that can likely lead to the imposition of renewed pandemic curbs.

In Japan, the Nikkei added up to 2.2% on solid earnings reports as well as bargain hunting. Hong Kong stocks rose 1.24%, while China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was down 0.20%. 

Australia’s benchmark climbed 0.49%, while Singapore stocks also gained 1.21% after a previous 2% drop on Monday. In months, Singapore has reported the highest number of local infections.

Taiwan is also experiencing a spike in virus cases. However, its shares are recovering. Lawmakers have said that the country was in talks with the United States for a share of the COVID-19 vaccine doses which President Joe Biden should send abroad.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.16%, to 34,327.79 overnight. Nasdaq Composite fell 50.93 points, or 0.38%, to 13,379.05, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index dipped 0.05%.

At 700.50, MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe was 0.29% higher.  

Stocks on The Move


Asia’s stocks were firming up, with investors measuring the diverging stages of the COVID-19 economic recovery in different countries.

By 10:21 PM ET (2:21 AM GMT), Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 2.14%. According to data released earlier in the day, Japan’s GDP contracted a lower-than-expected 5.1% year-on-year. Moreover, a 1.3% quarter-on-quarter during Q1 of 2021.

At the beginning of the week, Japan also extended its state of emergency to three more prefectures. The measure now covers nine prefectures in total and in place until May 31.

In South Korea, the KOSPI rose 1.14%.

Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.60%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.45%.

China’s Shanghai Composite advanced by 0.01% while the ShenzhenComponent retreated by 0.39%.

On Monday, Taiwan reported a record 333 new cases of COVID-19. Hong Kong delayed Singapore’s travels again as Singapore detected more cases of the B.1.617 variant strain of the virus. This COVID variant comes from India.

The World Economic Forum has been canceled. It was scheduled to be hosted by Singapore in August 2021.

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