Asia markets edge higher as hopes rise on economies reopening

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KEY POINTS
  • Shares in Asia rose in Monday morning trade.
  • Investors continue to watch for developments on the coronavirus front amid hopes of global economies reopening as social distancing measures are eased.
  • Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that the unemployment rate stateside may have already reached 25% as the administration seeks to reopen the country’s economy.
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Stocks in Asia traded higher on Monday morning as hopes rise on economies reopening, even as U.S. reported record job losses in April.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 edged 0.81% higher while the Topix index gained 0.86%. South Korea’s Kospi also added 0.4%.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia traded in positive territory, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.61%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan traded 0.15% higher.

Investors continue to watch for developments on the coronavirus front amid hopes of global economies reopening as social distancing measures are eased. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined over the weekend a “conditional plan” to slowly reopen society and the economy. Disney is also set to reopen its Disneyland theme park in Shanghai on Monday.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin warned that the jobless numbers could “get worse before they get better.” He said Sunday that the unemployment rate stateside may have already reached 25% as the administration seeks to reopen the country’s economy. Mnuchin’s comments came after the U.S. on Friday reported a record 20.5 million job losses in April.

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE
.N225 Nikkei 225 Index NIKKEI 20439.75 260.66 1.29
.HSI Hang Seng Index HSI 24470.18 240.01 0.99
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 ASX 200 5447.30 56.20 1.04
.SSEC Shanghai SHANGHAI 2895.31 -0.04 0.00
.KS11 KOSPI Index KOSPI 1948.45 2.63 0.14
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX CNBC 100 7702.70 57.71 0.75

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 99.818 after seeing levels above 100 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.90 per dollar after weakening from levels below 106.2 last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at 0.6533 after rising from levels below $0.64 in the previous trading week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 1.97% to $30.36 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also slipped 1.94% to $24.26 per barrel.

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