The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors reacted to an unexpected jump in China’s trade data for June. Meanwhile, Australia shares ended flat as major banks weighed on the broad index.
Japanese shares closed near a one-month high as investors awaited earnings. South Korean stocks ended higher on upbeat Chinese data and Hong Kong shares rose on the back of technology and financial strength.
Cash Market Performance
In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 28718.24, up 149.22 or +0.52%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 27963.41, up 448.17 or +1.63% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 3271.38, up 24.91 or +0.77%.
In China, the benchmark Shanghai Index settled at 3566.52, up 18.69 or +0.53% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 7332.10, down 1.40 or -0.02%.
China Shares End Higher on Consumer Boost after Strong Export Data
China’s blue-chips closed higher on Tuesday, supported by strong gains in consumer staples firms, as new data showed the country’s exports grew at a much-faster-than-expected pace in June on recovering global demand, Reuters reported.
China’s exports in June jumped 32.2% as compared with a year earlier, customs data showed Tuesday. That was much higher than a forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll for a 23.1% growth in exports for June.
The data also showed Chinese imports in June surging 36.7%. That compared against an estimate for imports to have increased 30%, according to Reuters.
Australia Shares End Flat as Major Banks Weigh
Australian shares closed slightly lower on Tuesday, as major banks capped the advances made by heavyweight miners, with the possibility of a coronavirus-led lockdown being extended in the country’s largest city still left open.
Australia reported a slight easing in new COVID-19 cases in Sydney on Tuesday, but the possibility of a lockdown extension still looms, with growing fears that the outbreak was showing early signs of spreading further afield, according to Reuters.
The heavyweight financial index closed 0.4% lower, with Australia’s biggest lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia and second-largest lender Wespac skidding up to 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.
In contrast, Australian mining stocks closed 0.04% higher with iron ore advancing more than 3% as lingering concerns about a tight supply of the steelmaking raw material eclipsed expectations of a slowdown in China’s steel demand.