Asia-Pacific Shares Soar on Strong China Factory Activity Growth; RBA Holds Rates Steady

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes posted strong gains on Tuesday after taking an end-of-the-month breather the previous session. Buyers were aggressive the first day of the new month, helped by the release of a private survey of China’s manufacturing activity. The news comes on the heels of Monday’s official manufacturing PMI for November that came in at the highest reading in more than three years.

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 26787.54, up 353.92 or 1.34%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26567.68, up 226.19 or +0.86% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2634.25, up 42.91 or +1.66%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3451.94, up 60.18 or +1.77% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6588.50, up 70.70 or +1.08%.

China’s Factory Activity Growth Hits Decade High in November as Economy Recovers

Activity in China’s factory sector accelerated at the fastest pace in a decade in November, a business surveyed showed on Tuesday, as the world’s second-largest economy recovers to pre-pandemic levels.

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index PMI rose to 54.9 from October’s 53.6, with the gauge staying well above the 50-level that separates growth from contraction for the seventh consecutive month. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the headline reading would slip to 53.5.

The Caixin PMI reading was the highest since November 2010, and comes after an official gauge of factory activing, focusing more on larger and state-owned firms, rose at the fastest pace in over three years.

“Manufacturing continued to recover and the economy increasingly returned to normality as fallout from the domestic COVID-19 epidemic faded,” Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group, wrote in a note accompanying the survey release.

RBA Holds Rates Near Historical Lows

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held rates at near-zero in a widely expected move on Tuesday as easy monetary and fiscal policies propped up the coronavirus-hit economy, fueling demand for homes and boosting construction activity.

In a short post-meeting statement, Governor Philip Lowe sounded optimistic about a recovery as the country has confidently reopened with almost zero new coronavirus cases.

“The economic recovery is under way and recent data have generally been better than expected,” Lowe said.

“This is good news, but the recovery is still expected to be uneven and drawn out and it remains dependent on significant policy support.”

Lowe also reiterated the board was unlikely to raise the cash rate for at least three years and was prepared to do more if necessary.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Down Across the Board; China Reports Upbeat Factory Activity

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes closed lower on Monday as investors took profits and squared positions on the last day of trading in November. Traders showed little reaction to potentially bullish data from China showing a further expansion in the manufacturing sector. Trade frictions between Washington and Beijing may have also weighed on investor sentiment.

In the cash market on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 26433.62, down 211.09 or -0.79%. South Korea’s KOSPI Index finished at 2591.34, down 42.11 or -1.60% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed at 26341.49, down 553.19 or -2.06%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3391.76, down 16.55 or -0.49% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6517.80, down 83.30 or -1.26%.

China’s Factory Activity Expands at Fastest Pace in Over Three Years

China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in November, while growth in the services sector also hit a multi-year high, as the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic stepped up.

Upbeat data released on Monday suggests the world’s second-largest economy is on track to become the first to completely shake off the drag from widespread industry shutdowns, with recent production data showing manufacturing now at pre-pandemic levels.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 52.1 in November from 51.4 in October, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. It was the highest PMI reading since September 2017 and remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. It was also higher than the 51.5 median forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Trump to Add China’s SMIC and CNOOC to Defense Blacklist:  Reuters, Citing Sources

The Trump administration is poised to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, according to a document and sources, curbing their access to U.S. investors and escalating tensions with Beijing weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Japan Oct Retail Sales Rise; Factor Output Grows for Fifth Month

Japanese retail sales rose 6.4% in October from a year earlier, up for the first time in eight months and matching a median market forecast, government data showed on Monday.

Japan’s industrial output rose for the fifth straight month in October signaling the economy was recovering further from the damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Official data released on Monday showed factory output jumped 3.8% in October from the previous month, mainly due to strength in general machinery production and motor vehicle manufacturing.

The solid increase beat the median market forecast of a 2.1% rise in a Reuters poll of economists, and was in line with the prior month’s 3.9% gain.

Aussie Shares Tumble Amid Spat with China Over Hefty Wine Tariffs

Shares in Australia fell sharply on Monday after the country’s Treasury Wine Estates said it would divert hundreds of thousands of case of China-bound wine to other countries to avoid hefty tariffs, battering its shares as it acknowledged its future in its biggest market was unclear.

After Beijing imposed a 169.3% mark-up as part of an industry-wide anti-dumping investigation, the world’s largest listed winemaker said it would redirect sales of its prized Penfolds label to the U.S., Europe, elsewhere in Asia and domestically.

Treasury shares fell as much as 12% in early trade on Monday, against a slightly weaker broader market. The stock is down a third since China announced the anti-dumping investigation in August.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Rise on Upbeat Chinese Industrial Profits Data, Vaccine Hopes

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mostly higher on Friday with Australia bucking the trend as investors reacted positively to strong industrial profits from China for October. Traders showed little reaction to concerns over the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate despite criticisms from U.S. experts on the results and methods used in their phase three vaccine trials.

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 26644.71, up 107.40 or +0.40%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26894.68, up 75.23 or +0.28% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2633.45, up 7.54 or +0.29%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3408.31, up 38.57 or 1.14% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6601.10, down 35.30 or -0.53%.

China’s Industrial Profits Grow at Quickest Monthly Pace Since Early 2017

Profits at China’s industrial firms grew in October for a sixth consecutive month and at their quickest pace since early 2017, pointing to a steady recovery in the manufacturing sector after it was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Profits at Chinese industrial firms surged 28.2% year-on-year in October to 642.91 billion yuan ($97.79 billion), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed on Friday, after rising 10.1% in September versus the previous year.

China Stocks End Higher to Post Weekly Gains on Upbeat Data

China stocks rose on Friday to post weekly gains, as upbeat profits from industrial firms pointed to a continued recovery in the world’s second largest economy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

UBS has set a target of 5,450 and 6,300 at end-2021 and end-2022, respectively, for the blue-chip CSI300 Index, adding mainland households could raise exposure to onshore equities in the next two years.

In other news, a spurt of missed debt repayments by three Chinese state-owned firms – a coal miner, a chipmaker and an automobile company – has shaken local markets and heightened speculation that a campaign to wean the economy off heavy credit is back.

South Korea Stocks Gain for Fourth Straight Week on Vaccine Hopes, Exports Outlook

South Korean shares ended higher on Friday, gaining for a fourth straight week, helped by a slew of potentially successful coronavirus vaccines on the table and an upbeat outlook for November exports.

South Korea’s exports likely bounced back in November and are expected to continue recovering for the time being, supported by strong chip sales and global demand, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The KOSPI has risen 19.83% so far this year, and gained 11.2% in the previous 30 trading sessions.

Foreigners Net Buyers of Japanese Stocks for Third Week in a Row

Foreign investors remained net buyers of Japanese equities for a third straight week that ended November 20, buoyed by progress in a second coronavirus vaccine-related developments that rekindled hopes of a swift global economic recovery.

Overseas investors were net buyers of stocks worth 597.17 billion yen ($5.74 billion) last week, after purchasing over 1 trillion yen in each of the previous two weeks, data from Japanese exchanges showed.

They bought 333.18 billion yen in cash equities markets and 263.99 billion yen worth of derivatives.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Mixed as Investors Express Caution Over COVID-19 Pandemic

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed on Friday as investors continued to assess the impact of the new surge of coronavirus cases on the global economic recovery.

Japan’s Nikkei finished lower following the release of a report on core consumer inflation. Australia was pressured by a weak financial sector. China held its lending benchmark loan prime rate steady for the 7th straight month, in line with market expectations.

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 25527.37, down 106.97 or -0.42%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26451.54, up 94.57, up +0.36% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2553.50, up 6.08 or +0.24%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3377.73, up 14.64 or +0.44% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index closed at 6539.20, down 8.00 or -0.12%.

Japan’s Consumer Prices Fall at Fastest Pace in Decade, Reviving Deflation Fears

Japan’s core consumer prices fell in October at their fastest annual pace in nearly a decade as the boost from last year’s sales tax hike petered out, heightening fears of a return to deflation for an economy still dealing with COVID-19.

Analysts expect consumer prices to continue falling in coming months due to sluggish consumption, casting doubt on the central bank’s view Japan will eventually see prices bounce back towards the central bank’s elusive 2% inflation target.

China Keeps Lending Benchmark Loan Prime Rate Steady for 7th Straight Month as Expected

China left its benchmark lending rate for corporate and household loans unchanged for a seventh straight month at its November fixing on Friday, matching market expectations.

The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was kept unchanged at 3.85%, while the five-year LPR remained at 4.65%.

Hong Kong Shares Edge Up on Consumer and Material Boost; Post Third Consecutive Weekly Gain

Hong Kong shares edged up on Friday to post their third consecutive weekly advance, led by consumer and material stocks, tracking mainland gains on upbeat data and policy support during the week.

The top gainer on the Hang Seng was WuXi Biologics Inc, which gained 5.57%, while the biggest loser was China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd, which fell 3.79%.

For the week, the HIS rose 1.13%, while the HSCE up 0.1%, as investors cheered news of Beijing’s pledge to boost domestic consumption and promote an innovation-driven growth model to salvage a pandemic-ravaged economy.

China will promote economic growth to a “reasonable” range while pursuing higher quality development, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying on Tuesday night by state radio.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Mostly Higher; Nikkei Plunges as Improved Export Data Dampens Stimulus Chances

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes were mixed, but mostly higher on Wednesday with Japan’s Nikkei taking a big hit on weak economic data. Vaccine optimism continued to drive prices higher although investors remained cautious over the coronavirus surge in the United States and Europe.

In the cash market on Wednesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 25728.14, down 286.48 or -1.10%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26544.29, up 129.20 or +0.49% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2545.64, up 6.49 or +0.26%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3347.30, up 7.41 or +0.22% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished at 6531.10, up 32.90 or +0.51%.

Japan’s Long Run of Falling Exports Slows as Auto Demand Perks Up

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index plunged on Wednesday after a report showed Japan’s exports extended declines in October but at the slowest pace in almost two years, helped by improvement in Chinese- and U.S.-demand for cars and other items as the world’s third-largest economy emerged from its worst postwar slump.

Stocks fell sharply because the better-than-expect exports news likely reduced the chances of additional stimulus from the government or Bank of Japan.

The trade data is likely to encourage policymakers who are counting on external demand to shift Japan’s recovery away from government stimulus back to private sector activity, although a coronavirus resurgence has clouded the outlook.

By destination, shipments to the United States rose 2.5%, a second straight month of increase and the biggest since July 2019 led by demand for automobiles and car parts.

Hong Kong Shares End Higher on Vaccine Hopes, Stronger Automakers

Hong Kong stocks ended higher for a third straight session on Wednesday, with the automotive sector leading gains, as investors continued to cheer news of COVID-19 vaccine breakthroughs.

Moderna Inc said this week its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage clinical trial, becoming the second U.S. company in a week to report results that far exceeded expectations.

The automotive sector was the top gainer in the market, led by Geely Automobile Holdings, which rose as much as 8.8% to its highest level since June 2018, before closing 6.9% higher.

Australia Stock Exchange Resumes Trading After Software Glitch

Trading on the Australian Securities Exchange resumed on Tuesday following a software glitch that had forced the stock exchange to halt minutes after opening in the previous session, Reuters reported.

The country’s benchmark stock index gained as much as 0.4% by 2330 GMT and was at its highest since March 3, the same level it touched before trading came to a halt on Monday.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Finished Mixed; Nikkei Touches 29-year High

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed but mostly higher on Tuesday in a choppy trade as Asian stocks edged cautiously into record territory following Monday’s strong performance by the U.S. benchmarks the previous session. The markets were primarily supported by news of another promising coronavirus vaccine although the reaction was not as spectacular as last Monday’s spike to the upside.

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 26014.62, up 107.69 or +0.42%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26394.66, up 12.99 or +0.05% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2539.15, down 3.88 or -0.15%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3339.90, down 7.07 or -0.21% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6498.20, up 13.90 or +0.21%.

COVID-19 Update

Outbreaks in the United States are still spiking, as the country added 1 million new cases of the virus in under a week. The country has now recorded more than 11 million COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Vaccine Hopes Lift Markets

Asian traders followed Wall Street’s lead from Monday after the U.S. benchmarks rose to record highs after Moderna said preliminary phase three trial data shows its coronavirus vaccine is more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19. Its shares gained 9.6% on the day.

That news came after Pfizer and BioNTech announced last week that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective.

Nikkei Hits 29-year High as Vaccine Optimism Boosts Risk Appetite

Japan’s Nikkei share average closed at a 29-year high on Tuesday as investors cheered news of another potential coronavirus vaccine that re-ignited hopes of a swift global recovery. The benchmark index had closed at a 29-year high on Monday as well after the economy posted its first expansion in four quarters.

Around two-thirds of the 33 sector sub-indexes on the Tokyo exchange traded higher. The airline sector led gains, climbing 3.96%, with ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines adding 4.16% and 3.72%, respectively.

Nikkei’s heavyweight Fanuc Corp rose nearly 1.5%, helped by upbeat industrial output data from China and the formation of a regional trade bloc comprising 15 Asia-Pacific economies.

South Korea Stocks Reverse Early Gains on Stricter Virus Curbs, Profit-Taking

South Korean shares closed lower on Tuesday, reversing earlier gains as the country tightened coronavirus-related curbs and investors booked profits after a rally in the benchmark index. The won strengthened, while the benchmark bond yield fell. The benchmark KOSPI Index hit a 33-month high on Monday, its tenth session of gains out of eleven.

South Korea decided to strengthen social distancing rules for the greater Seoul area amid spikes in coronavirus cases, as it reported 230 new infections as of Monday midnight. The stricter new curbs hit optimism fueled by Moderna Inc’s vaccine announcement.

In other news, Chip giant Samsung Electronics slipped 0.9% after hitting a record high, while its peer SK Hynix extended gains to a sixth session.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Settle Lower after Trump Bans US Investments in Firms Linked to Chinese Military

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed but mostly lower on Friday with South Korea bucking the trend. Profit-taking ahead of the weekend was likely behind the move amid the surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe that threatens to derail the global economic recovery. The news is also dimming optimism from positive vaccine news.

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 25385.87, down 135.01 or -0.53%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26156.86, down 12.52 or -0.05% and South Korea’s KOSPI closed at 2493.87, up 18.25 or +0.74%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3310.10, down 28.57 or -0.86% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6405.20, down 13.00 or -0.20%.

Trump Bans Americans from Investing in Chinese Firms Tied to Military

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning Americans from investing in Chinese firms that the administration says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military.

The order applies to 31 Chinese companies which it says “enable the development and modernization” of China’s military and “directly threaten” U.S. security.

Smartphone maker Huawei and Hikvision, one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of video surveillance equipment, are among the blacklisted companies. Some of the other companies listed, including China Telecom and China Mobile, trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

COVID-19 Watch

Traders in the East continued to monitor the COVID-19 situation in the United States, as daily new cases of the virus continued to rise in the country, setting fresh records. Investors also expressed concerns about the state of the fragile global economy as central bank leaders sounded the alarm.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Thursday that the “next few months could be challenging” despite recent developments on the vaccine front.

“From our standpoint, it’s just too soon to assess with any confidence the implications of the news for the path of the economy, especially in the near term,” Powell said regarding the vaccine.

South Korea Stocks Bounce Back, Samsung Electric Jumps to Record High

South Korean Shares bounced back from earlier losses on Friday, helped by sharp gains in market heavyweights including Samsung electronics. The Won and the benchmark bond yield both edged down.

Samsung Electronics climbed 3.6% to a record high on foreign investor buying, while other heavyweights SK Hynix, Hyundai Motor and Kakao Corp rose 1.8%, 2% and 2.2%, respectively.

Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest carrier, surged as much as 25.6% to a near seven-month high, while its affiliates and top shareholder jumped after reports of new acquisition talks. Shares soared on prospects that the debt-ridden pandemic-hit carrier may end up sharing a home with rival Korean Air Lines Co Ltd.

Foreigners were net buyers for a seventh straight session, purchasing 522.5 billion won ($468.61 million) worth of shares in the longest buying spree since mid-January. They had bought 3.76 trillion won worth of shares in the last six sessions.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Mixed; China’s Tech Giants See $280 Billion in Market Value Erased Since Monday’s Close

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed on Wednesday. Gains were muted by declines in the technology sector as traders followed similar losses on Wall Street. Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese tech firms were among the hardest hit on Wednesday. Investors in Japan and South Korea seemed to ignore the trend, while higher oil prices supported the market in Australia.

In the cash market on Wednesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 25349.60, up 444.01 or +1.78%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 26226.98, down 74.50 or -0.28% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2485.87, up 33.04 or +1.35%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3342.20, down 17.95 or -0.53% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished at 6449.70, up 109.20 or +1.72%.

China’s Tech Giants Pressured by Regulatory Concerns

Shares of China’s top technology giants were battered on Wednesday as regulatory concerns continue to mount.

By the Wednesday market close in Hong Kong shares of Alibaba listed in the city plunged 9.8% while Tencent dropped 7.39%. Smartphone maker Xiaomi also declined 8.18% and China’s biggest on-demand delivery services firm Meituan Dianping fell 9.67%. E-commerce giant JD.com also saw its stocks plummet 9.2%.

The broader Hang Seng Tech Index was also hammered and fell 6.23% on the day to 7,465.44.

The combined losses of the five tech heavyweights since their Monday’s close has contributed to more than $280 billion being wiped off in terms of market cap at the close of the trading day in Hong Kong, based on CNBC’s calculations.

Chinese regulator – the State Administration for Market Regulation – on Tuesday announced a set of draft rules aimed at curbing monopolistic behavior on internet platforms.

The moves were possibly further exacerbated by a global rotation out of tech stocks seen globally in recent days.

Australia’s biggest IPO in Two Years to price from Friday, Macquarie Set for Windfall

Macquarie Group plans to price  the initial price offering (IPO) of its majority-owned data analytics software business this week, earlier than planned, with the Australian investment firm on track to triple its investment.

A cornerstone bookbuild for software company Nuix is expected to be held on Friday to set a price for institutional buyers, a source with knowledge of the situation said, a week ahead of schedule due to growing risk appetite after the U.S. election.

At least half the company would be on offer to raise about A$900 million ($657 million), both people said, making it the country’s largest listing since Viva Energy’s $1.9 billion IPO in 2018, according to Refinitiv data.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

RBNZ Leaves OCR Unchanged, Unveils New Lending Program; Alibaba Launches Annual Singles’ Day

The New Zealand Dollar is edging higher early Wednesday after the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) left its Official Cash Rate (OCR) unchanged at 0.25%, in line with market expectations.

Policymakers also unveiled a funding for lending program (FLP), which is aimed at lowering interest costs by offering cheap funding to banks. The FLP programme for banks will be launched in December.

Additionally, the central bank left its Government bond buying cap at $100 billion.

Asian Stocks Extend Gains as Vaccine Hopes Support Global Reopening

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes rose on Wednesday, following a mixed performance on Wall Street, as hopes for a successful coronavirus vaccine lifted expectations of a swift reopening of the global economy, which would help the region’s heavily trade-dependent markets.

In the early trade, Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.05% with energy stocks and miners boosted by higher crude and commodity prices.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 Index rose around 0.6% in early trade ahead of the country’s central bank meeting.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.1%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures rose 0.09%.

Australian Shares Gain for Fifth Session

Australian shares rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday following gains in financial and energy stocks.

Shares of travel-related companies and airlines extended gains on swifter-than-expected economic recovery hopes. Qantas Airways, Sydney Airport Holdings and Webjet Ltd climbed.

The energy index jumped more than 3%, hitting its highest since August 20 after crude gained overnight.

Australia’s top independent gas producer Woodside Petroleum rose after it reaffirmed that its Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 liquefied natural gas project is on track for a final investment decision in the second half of 2021.

Rising more than 2%, financial stocks hit an eight-month high. The country’s largest Commonwealth Bank of Australia climbed as much as 2.8%, even as its first-quarter cash profit fell 16%.

Miners jumped over 1% on higher iron ore prices. Mining giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto gained nearly 2% each.

Gold stocks, however, slipped 2.3%, with heavyweights Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining trading lower.

Alibaba Launches China’s First Post-Covid Singles’ Day

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd kicked off its annual Singles’ Day mega-shopping event on Wednesday, looking to cash in on consumers itching for discounts as the economy rebounds from the COVID-19 crisis.

This year’s online shopping extravaganza also comes a week after Alibaba lost almost $76 billion (54.4 billion pounds) of its market value, following China’s suspension of the $37 billion listing of Ant Group, the financial technology firm Alibaba owns a third of.

Alibaba first launched the shopping event in 2009 and has made it the world’s biggest online sales festival, eclipsing Cyber Monday in the United States. Last year, it recorded $38.4 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) on the day.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Travel-Related Shares Drive Major Asia-Pacific Indexes Higher as Investor Hopes Rise on Vaccine Progress

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes were mostly higher on Tuesday driven by strong performances by regional airlines, tourism and travel stocks as global investors aggressively bought the shares of companies expected to benefit greatly from a reopening of the global economy. The buying was fueled by global investors who applauded progress in the development of a coronavirus vaccine which lifted confidence in a world economic recovery.

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index is trading 24905.59, up 65.75 or +0.26%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index is at 26191.68, up 175.51 or +0.67 and the South Korean KOSPI Index is at 2452.83, up 5.63 or +0.23%.

In China, the Shanghai Index is at 3360.95, down 12.78 or -0.38% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index settled at 6340.50, up 41.70 or +0.66%.

Pfizer Vaccine Hopes Fuel Buying Spree

Asia-Pacific shares followed their U.S. counterparts higher in reaction to the announcement by Pfizer and BioNTech that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 among those without evidence of prior infection.

The reported efficacy rate was higher than expected, with scientists hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective, while White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has said one that is 50% or 60% effective would be acceptable.

Airline, Cruise Ship and Hotel Operators Lift Shares in Most of Asia

Pfizer’s vaccine announcement on Monday signaled to investors that a return to normality could be coming sooner rather than later. With the news, investors dumped tech-heavyweights that were expected to benefit from a stay-at-home-economy, and used the proceeds to purchase shares of stocks that would benefit from a return to the same economy before the pandemic.

Shares of airlines in the Asia-Pacific surged on Tuesday. In Australia, Qantas gained 8.55%. Over in Hong Kong, shares of Cathay Pacific popped 11.57% while China Eastern Airlines rose 8.54%.

Japan Airlines also saw its stock in Japan surge 18.77% while ANA Holdings advanced 15.78%. South Korea’s Korean Air Lines added 12.16% while Singapore Airlines shares in Singapore soared 13.99%.

China’s Inflation Fails to Perk Up, Defies Broader Recovery

China’s factory-gate prices fell at a sharper-than-expected pace in October, weighed by soft demand for fuel even as the trade and manufacturing sectors staged impressive recoveries from their COVID-19 slump.

Consumer inflation was also soft, easing to an 11-year low as pork prices snapped a year-and-a-half of steep increases that were fueled by critical shortages of the popular meat.

“We expect both CPI and PPI to be subdued in Q4,” said Zhaopeng Xing, markets economist at ANZ. “However, inflation will likely rebound after Q1 2021, thanks to the growing demand post the pandemic.”

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Rise Ahead of US Election Results Led by Surge in Hong Kong, South Korea

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes move sharply higher on Thursday as investors continued to wait for the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, while leaning toward a victory for Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

Investors remain locked in on the U.S. election, though the final results may not be known for days as several states may need until Friday or early next week to announce the final official tallies. Meanwhile, President Trump is already causing a stir, citing fraud and other allegations that could lead to a recount in several key states, indicating that the matter may end up in the courts before it’s all over.

In the cash market on Thursday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 24105.28, up 410.05 or 1.73%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at 25695.92, up 809.78 or 3.25% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2413.79, up 56.47 or +2.40%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3320.13, up 42.69 or +1.30% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6139.60, up 77.50 or 1.28%.

Hang Seng Notches 16-Week Closing High as Biden Odds Improve

Hong Kong’s Hang Index soared to its highest close in more than three months on Thursday and China A-shares gained as U.S. election results showed a firming lead for Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential election.

With financial markets braced for days or even weeks of uncertainty as Trump has opened a multi-prong attack on vote counts in several states by pursuing lawsuits and a recount, investors have welcomed any indication of a clear winner.

However, the price action suggests that all investors care about is the declaration of a clear winner.

Hong Kong shares also received a lift after regulators abruptly suspended what was set to be the world’s largest stock market debut of Ant Financial Group. This news is providing additional liquidity from locked up money that has made its way into other technology stocks.

The Hang Seng Tech Index booked a 5.45% gain on the day as investors made use of cash freed up by the aborted IPO attempt earlier in the week.

South Korea Shares Log Biggest Daily Jump Since June

South Korean shares marked their best session in nearly five months on Thursday, led by new energy and technology shares, after Wall Street gained on the prospect of a gridlock in U.S. Congress, which could make big policy changes hard to enact.

In other news, South Korea’s vice finance minister voiced concerns about rapid gains in the won and said the government is ready to deploy market stabilizing measures if volatility widens further.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Settle Higher as China Factory Activity Expands Beyond Expectations

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes bounced off one-month low on Monday after the release of a report from China showing factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in a decade while oil prices dropped as many Western countries reinstated coronavirus-driven lockdowns.

Despite the strong showing in China, the global outlook dampened as some European countries and U.S. states battled still rising COVID-19 infections and reverted back into coronavirus lockdowns. Meanwhile, U.S. e-mini S&P 500 Index futures edged higher on light short-covering ahead of the U.S. Presidential elections on Tuesday.

In the cash market, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23295.48, up 318.35, up 1.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 24460.01, up 352.59, or +1.46% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2300.16, up 33.01 or 1.46%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3225.12, up 0.59 or +0.02% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 5951.30, up 23.70 or +0.40%.

China’s Manufacturing Sector Expands for Sixth Straight Month

China’s factory activity expanded for the sixth straight month in October as business confidence grew to it strongest in years, a private survey showed on Monday.

The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for Chinese manufacturing came in at 53.6 for October, better than the 53.0 forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. The latest reading was the highest since January 2011, the survey results showed.

The private survey followed the release of China’s official manufacturing PMI over the weekend, which came in at 51.4 for October – the eighth consecutive month of expansion. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 51.3 reading.

The October Caixin/Markit PMI showed that the country’s manufacturing recovery has continued to pick up speed, said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.

“To sum up, recovery was the word in the current macro economy, with the domestic epidemic under control,” he said in a statement accompanying the data release.

“Manufacturing supply and demand improved at the same time. Enterprises were very willing to increase inventories. Prices tended to be stable. Business operations improved, and entrepreneurs were confident,” he added.

China Blue-Chips End Higher on Rising Factory Activity

China blue-chip shares finished higher on Monday after a private survey showed the fastest acceleration in Chinese factory activity in nearly a decade, the latest indication of the country’s robust economic recovery from lockdowns.

The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Whirlpool China Co Ltd up 10.07%, followed by Dr. Peng Telecom & Media Group Co Ltd, gaining 10.06% and COSCO Shipping Development Co Ltd, up by 10.05%.

The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai Index were Huadian Energy Co Ltd down 10.06%, followed by Sichuan Xichang Electric Power Co Ltd losing 10.05% and Shanghai Shenqi Pharmaceutical Management Co Ltd down by 10.03%.

Australia Shares Make Cautious Gains Ahead of US Election Outcome

Australian shares closed higher on a cautious note, as traders braced for restlessness during the U.S. Presidential election week, while gold stocks led the gains as uncertainty stoked bids for the safe-haven metal on Monday.

The Australian gold index gained 1.1%, helped by a rise in bullion prices, as increased global uncertainty drew investors to the safety of gold.

The heavyweight financial sector gained 0.4% after the country’s second-largest lender Westpac posted full-year results and said it intends to return to a half-yearly dividend cycle.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Finish Lower, but Outperform Stateside Markets

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes were lower across the board on Thursday with China bucking the trend to move modestly higher. The weakness in the East wasn’t nearly as bad as the routs in the United States and Europe the previous sessions, as Asia’s brighter economic outlook offset investor worries about fresh COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe.

In the cash market on Thursday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23331.94, down 86.57 or -0.37%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 24550.17, down 158.63 or -0.64% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2326.67, down 18.59 or -0.79%.

Bank of Japan Trims Growth, Price Forecasts; Keeps Policy Steady

The Bank of Japan on Thursday trimmed its economic and price forecasts for the current fiscal year ending in March 2021, heightening expectations it will maintain its massive stimulus for a time being to cushion the blow from COVID-19.

As widely expected, the central bank kept monetary policy steady, including a -0.1% target for short-term interest rates and a pledge to guide long-term rates around 0%.

It also made no changes to a package of measures to ease corporate funding strains caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is expected to hold a news conference to explain the policy decision and the new forecasts, which were produced as part of the BOJ’s quarterly report on the economic and price outlook.

Samsung Predicts Fourth-Quarter Decline in Profits Due to Weak Demand and Growing Competition

Shares in South Korea were among the biggest losers regionally, as the KOSPI Index fell as much as 1.69% before settling 0.79% lower. Shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics declined around 2% after the firm on Thursday predicted a fourth-quarter decline in profits.

Samsung Electronics on Thursday said it expects a decline in profit in the three months that will end on December 31 due to weak memory chip demand and intense competition in the smartphone and consumer electronics spaces.

Samsung announced a 59% year-on-year jump in operating profit to 12.35 trillion Korean won (about $10.89 billion) for the July-September quarter, which was in line with earlier guidance.

“Looking ahead, Samsung Electronics expects profit to decline in the fourth quarter amid weakening memory chip demand from server customers and intensifying competition in mobile phones and consumer electronics,” the company said in a statement.

Sony Shares Pop on Strong Outlook

Shares of Sony surged in Tokyo on Thursday, a day after the Japanese electronics giant raised its annual profit forecast.

Sony shares in Japan were up 6.69% on Thursday even though Japan’s border index, the Nikkei 225, fell 0.37% on the day.,

On Wednesday, Sony raised its forecast for its annual operating income by 13% to 700 billion yen (approximately $6.7 billion). It came as the firm announced an operating profit of about 317.8 billion yen (around $3.04 billion) for the three months ended September 30.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Pressured by Rising Western COVID-19 Cases

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished lower on Monday with Hong Kong closed for a bank holiday. The direction of the markets was primarily driven by weakness in Europe and lower U.S. futures indexes as new coronavirus cases surged in those regions. Investors fear that rapidly rising COVID-19 cases will detail the current global economic recovery.

In the cash market on Monday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23494.34, down 22.25 or -0.09% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2343.91, down 16.90 or -0.72%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3251.12, down 26.88 or -0.82% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6155.60, down 11.40 or -0.18%.

Rising COVID-19 Cases in the United States and Europe

Investor focus on Monday was primarily on the deteriorating coronavirus situation in the West, with the U.S. recently reporting a record-breaking number of new virus cases.

In Europe, cases have also surged, with Reuters reporting that France registered record daily coronavirus infections while Italy ordered bars to close early and shut gyms in a bid to stem a resurgence in the virus.

China’s Leaders Meet to Ponder Its Future

Chinese blue chips shed 0.82% as the country’s leaders met to chart the nation’s economic course for 2021-2025, balancing growth with reforms amid an uncertain global outlook and deepening tensions with the United States.

China to Impose Sanctions on US Firms Over Taiwan Arms Sales

China will impose sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, Raytheon and other U.S. companies it says are involved in Washington’s arms sales to Taiwan, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.

Zhao Lijian told journalists that China was acting to protect its national interest, but did not spell out what form the sanctions would take.

The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale of three weapons systems to Taiwan, including sensors, missiles and artillery that could have a total value of $1.8 billion, the Pentagon said last week.

Lee Kun-hee, Who Made South Korea’s Samsung a Global Powerhouse, Dies at 78

Lee Kun-hee, who built Samsung Electronics into a global powerhouse in smartphones, semiconductors and televisions, died on Sunday after spending more than six years in the hospital following a heart attack, the company said.

Lee’s aggressive bets on new businesses, especially semiconductors, helped grow the conglomerate his father Lee Byung-chull built from a noodle trading business into a global powerhouse with assets worth $375 billion, including dozens of affiliates stretching from electronics and insurance to shipbuilding and construction.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Mixed; Supported by Stimulus Hopes, Capped by Election Worries

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes closed mixed on Friday as investors showed little reaction to the U.S. presidential debate, while maintaining their focus on the outcome of U.S. fiscal stimulus negotiations. The tight trading ranges suggested that investors were tightening positions with less than two weeks to go before the U.S. presidential and congressional elections on November 3, while awaiting a breakthrough in stimulus talks in Washington.

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23516.59, up 42.32 or +0.18%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 24879.85, up 93.72 or +0.38% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2360.81, up 5.76 or +0.24%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3278.00, down 34.50 or -1.04% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6167.00, down 6.80 or -0.11%.

Early Focus on Semiconductor-Related Stocks

Semiconductor-related stocks in Asia-Pacific were watched on Friday after chipmaker Intel reported mixed quarterly numbers.

Intel Corp on Thursday reported that margins tumbled in the latest quarter as consumers bought cheaper laptops and pandemic-stricken businesses and governments clamped down on data center spending, news that sent its shares down 10%.

Intel sold a higher volume of less-profitable chips in its PC business, driving operating margins down to 36% in the third quarter from 44% a year earlier.

In Japan, shares of Tokyo Electron dropped 2.74% while Advantest slipped 1.08%. In South Korea, industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics saw its stock rise 0.17% while chipmaker SK Hynix gained 0.72%.

US Influences:  Presidential Debate, Fiscal Stimulus Hopes

The final debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Democrat challenger Joe Biden on Thursday presented few surprises for election watchers but slightly reinforced investor caution heading into the November 3 poll.

A widening lead in polls by Biden is prompting many investors to bet on a Biden presidency and also a “blue sweep”, where Democrats win both chambers of Congress.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday a deal on new coronavirus stimulus was “just about there” though she warned that passing it into law will take time as she and the Trump administration attempt to iron out remaining issues.

Japan Shares End Higher on Stimulus Hopes

Japanese shares ticked up on Friday after signs of progress in U.S. stimulus talks helped Wall Street finish higher overnight, while some investors refrained from making big bets ahead of a string of earnings reports next week.

While Japanese investors followed Wall Street’s lead from Thursday, led by positive economic data and the prospect of more fiscal stimulus, they showed little reaction to the final U.S. presidential debate ahead of the November election.

In stock-related news, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries climbed more than 6.5% after Reuters reported it would freeze the development of its SpaceJet regional jet.

Meanwhile, online games developer Nexon Co soared 17%, having hit the daily limit earlier after media reported the company would replace FamilyMart Co in the Nikkei stock average. Other companies that were seen as potential replacements, such as Kakaku.com Inc and Zozo Inc dropped more than 7% each.

The largest percentage loser in the index was Hitachi Construction Machinery, plunging more than 16% after media reported Hitachi Ltd was considering a partial sale of its stake in the company.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Capped by Resurgence in Coronavirus Cases in Europe.

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed but mostly lower on Friday, buoyed by gains in China, but pressured by a cautious mood due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe and the United States.

Shares in China rose as investors snapped up banking shares due to an improving earnings outlook. Australian stocks erased early losses to trade flat. Japanese stocks edged higher, but South Korean shares lost ground.

On Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23410.63, down 96.60 or -0.41%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index finished at 24386.79, up 228.25 or +0.94% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2341.53, down 19.68 or -0.83%.

In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3336.36, up 4.18 or +0.13% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6176.80, down 33.50 or -0.54%.

Australia Shares Finish Lower as Mining, Energy Stocks Fall

Australian shares edged lower on Friday, dragged down by mining stocks after Reo Tinto raised concerns about steel production outside China, with sentiment taking a hit from a resurgence in coronavirus cases in Europe.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 1.2% this week, recording its second straight weekly gain.

Shares of Reo Tinto fell 0.9% after the world’s biggest iron ore miner said steel production outside of China remains significantly down year on year while rising coronavirus cases were putting global economic growth at risk.

The Australian energy sector fell 1%, tracking lower oil prices. Sector heavyweight Santos fell 2%, while Oil Search tumbled 3%.

South Korean Shares Post Biggest Weekly Fall in Three as Global Virus Woes Weigh

South Korean shares posted their sharpest weekly fall in three on Friday as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across Europe and the U.S., and fading hopes for a U.S. stimulus package hit sentiment.

In other news, shares of Samsung Electronics fell 0.83% and SK Hynix declined 2.07%. South Korea reported 47 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday midnight, marking the smallest daily cases since September 29.

Nikkei Falls as Coronavirus Resurgence in Europe Hits Sentiment

Japan’s Nikkei share average fell on Friday as new coronavirus curbs in Europe dimmed hopes of a swift global economic recovery, although losses were limited after Fast Retailing forecast upbeat annual earnings.

The Nikkei was helped by gains in index heavyweight Fast Retailing, which jumped more than 4.4% after the operator of casual clothing chain posted better than expected earnings.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Lower Following Wall Street’s Lead

The major Asia Pacific stock indexes finished mixed-to-mostly lower on Wednesday as some investors reacted to the weak performance on Wall Street the previous session and other responded to a speech from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Shares in Japan and Hong Kong were closed higher, while Australia, South Korea and China posted losses.

In the cash market in Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23626.73, up 24.95 or +0.11%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 24667.09, up 17.41 or +0.07% and South Korea closed at 2380.48, down 22.67 or -0.94%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 3340.78, down 18.97 or -0.56% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished at 6179.20, down 16.50 or -0.27%.

Xi Jinping Offers Hope for Chinese, Hong Kong Investors

Investors had a mixed reaction to a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shenzhen on Wednesday, as the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone celebrated the 40th anniversary of its establishment.

Xi emphasized the importance of protecting the “legitimate rights and interests of entrepreneurs, property rights as well as intellectual property rights in accordance with the law,” according to a translation of his speech. That would “motivate entrepreneurs to start up and develop their businesses,” he said.

State media outlet Xinhua reported Sunday that the country “unveiled a new comprehensive reform plan for Shenzhen,” giving local authorities there a “more direct and greater say in business” in areas such as carrying out market-based economic reforms.

Hong Kong Shares End Higher as China’s Xi Speech Lifts Tech Stocks

Hong Kong shares recovered lost ground to close higher on Wednesday, as tech stocks climbed after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Shenzhen speech emphasized on property rights and protection for entrepreneurs, lifting risk appetite.

Heavyweight stock Tencent Holdings Ltd, a Shenzhen-based tech giant, hit an all-time high and closed up 3.1% after Xi’s speech.

Hong Kong listed shares of China Evergrande Group tanked by 16.96% after the firm announced a share placement with estimated gross proceeds of 4.3 billion Hong Kong Dollars ($555 million).

Singapore’s Economy Shrinks at Slower Pace than Expected

Singapore’s economic contraction slowed in the third quarter this year, as the country allowed more activities to resume after a partial lockdown, according to official estimates released by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Southeast Asian economy contracted by 7% in the third quarter compared with a year ago, the ministry said. That slightly missed the 6.8% year-over-year contraction forecast by a Reuters poll of analysts, and was slower than the revised 13.3% year-on-year decline in the previous quarter.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Stocks – China Shares Surge after PBOC Tweaks Rule, Investors Bet on Steady Recovery

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes were mixed but mostly higher early Monday with investors keeping an eye on U.S. fiscal stimulus negotiations, and the Chinese Yuan’s movements.

The big gain was in China’s Shanghai Index, followed by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index. While shares in Australia struggled, they remained positive, but in Japan, the Nikkei 225 bucked the trend, moving lower.

In the cash market at 03:47 GMT, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index is trading 23543.95, down 75.74, or -0.32%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is at 24529.51, up 410.38 or +1.70% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is trading 2402.66, up 10.70 or +0.45%.

In China, the Shanghai Index is trading 3346.26, up 74.19 or +2.27% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 Index is at 6112.70, up 10.50 or +0.17%.

China Gains Hoist Asian Stocks to Two-Year Peak

Chinese stocks led Asian markets higher on Monday as investors bet on a steady recovery for the world’s number two economy, though caution about the fate of U.S. stimulus kept the dollar firm and a central bank policy tweak unwound some of the Yuan’s gains.

China has returned from an eight day Mid-Autumn festival with investors encouraged by a robust rebound in tourism and ebbing coronavirus cases.

People’s Bank of China Announces Rule Change

Investors will monitor the Yuan’s movement on Monday, after the People’s Bank of China announced a rule change that made it cheaper to short the Yuan.

The central bank announced Saturday that financial institutions now no longer need to set aside cash when conducting some foreign exchange forwards trading, with effect from Monday. Previously, financial institutions had to set aside 20% of the previous month’s Yuan forwards settlement amount as foreign exchange risk reserves, according to Reuters.

South Korea Stocks Gain for Eighth Day on US Stimulus Hopes

South Korean shares rose for the eighth straight session on Monday, as U.S. stimulus hopes lifted investor sentiment. The won hit a more than over one-year high, while the benchmark bond yield also gained.

The Trump administration on Sunday called on Congress to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill, as negotiations on a broader package ran into resistance.

“The KOSPI opened up, tracking gains in the U.S. market on hopes of additional stimulus… though investors will keep an eye on U.S. corporate earnings and political uncertainties,” said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo-Sang-young.

Australia Shares Inch Higher as Investors Await Earnings, Production Results

Australian shares inched higher on Monday as investors stayed away from making big bets ahead of corporate earnings and production results while awaiting further developments on U.S. stimulus talks.

A slew of Australian companies, including global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto, are scheduled to report their quarterly production figures later this week, while the ‘big four’ banks will provide the first peek into how lenders fared in the July-September quarter later this month.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia Shares Higher as Trump Returns to White House

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished higher on Tuesday tracking Wall Street as U.S. President Donald Trump left the hospital to return to the White House, where he will continue being treated for the coronavirus following his positive diagnosis late last week.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) announced its decision to maintain the current policy settings. Additionally, shares of gold firms Northern Star Resources and Saracen Mineral Holdings in Australia surged more than 10% each in Tuesday’s trade after a merger was announced.

Markets in China remained closed for a holiday.

In the cash market on Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23433.73, up 121.59 or +0.52%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 23980.65, up 212.87 or +0.90 and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2365.90, up 7.90 or +0.34%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index settled at 5962.10, up 20.50 or +0.35%.

Reserve Bank of Australia Holds Cash Rate Steady

The RBA held its cash rate steady as expected, while policymakers reiterated its promise for additional stimulus if necessary.

In a statement announcing the central bank’s monetary policy decision, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said:  “The Board continues to consider how additional monetary easing could support jobs as the economy opens up further.”

Australian Shares Marginally Higher

Australia shares finished marginally higher after the RBA decision, while gold stocks gained after miners Northern Star Resources and Saracen Mineral Holdings said they would merge to create a global top-10 gold miner by market value.

Nikkei Hits 1-Week High after Trump’s White House Return Lifts Risk Mood

Japanese stocks ended at a near one-week high on Tuesday, as risk sentiment improved after U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the White House following treatment at a hospital for COVID-19, easing fears over political uncertainty.

Investors took cues from Wall Street’s positive finish overnight when main indexes rose sharply on stimulus hopes and on news President Trump would return to the White House after a three-night hospital stay.

Japanese technology and semiconductor shares gained as they benefited from more than a 2% rise in the NASDAQ overnight.

South Korea Stocks Gain for Fifth Session as Trump Returns to White House

South Korean shares closed higher on Tuesday for the fifth straight session as markets across Asia rose after U.S. President Donald Trump was discharged from the hospital following treatment for coronavirus.

Hopes for a fresh U.S. stimulus package appeared to brighten after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke by phone for about an hour on Monday on coronavirus relief and were preparing to talk again on Tuesday.

Foreigners were net buyers of 31.1 billion won ($26.77 million) worth of shares on the main board. Foreign investors were seen increasing their bets on companies with optimistic earnings forecasts.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Asia-Pacific Shares Slip after Trump Tests Positive for COVID-19; Aussie Retail Sales Drop

Asia-Pacific shares dipped on Friday after President Donald Trump said he and his wife will quarantine after a close aide tested positive for the coronavirus.

Losses were limited to markets in Japan and Australia. Markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and India are closed on Friday for holidays. China’s stock and bond markets, foreign exchange and commodity futures markets are closed October 1-8 for the Golden Week holiday.

In the cash market on Friday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23029.90, down 155.22 or -0.67%. The Topix Index slipped 1%. The Tokyo Stock Exchange returned to trade on Friday following a halting of trade yesterday caused by a hardware glitch.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed at 5791.50, down 81.40 or -1.39%.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 1.06% in afternoon trade. Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan Index dipped 0.33%.

Trump Tests Positive for Coronavirus

President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday, and is set to quarantine and recover at the White House.

In a tweet early Friday morning, Trump said: “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Shortly after Trump’s tweet, U.S. stock futures moved sharply lower with Dow futures falling more than 500 points at one point.

White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo early Friday morning:  “The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

He also said he expects Trump to “continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

Japan’s Jobs Market Worsens in August as Coronavirus Damage Persists

Japan’s unemployment rate rose in August to its highest in over three years and job availability fell to a more than six-year low, government data showed on Friday, indicating damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic persisted through the month.

Japan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 3.0% in August, the highest since May 2017, labor ministry data showed. The result met analysts’ median forecast of 3.0%.

Australian August Retail Sales Fall 4%, Victoria Hit Hard

Australian retail sales fell 4% in August from the month earlier, official data showed on Friday, with the virus-stricken state of Victoria bearing the brunt of the slowdown. Victoria suffered a 12.6% drop as a strict lockdown saw many businesses shut their doors to customers. There were also declines in most other states.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.