Asia-Pacific stocks rise ahead of this week’s major economic data

SINGAPORE – Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose on Monday as investors await the release of important economic data later in the week.

Japanese stocks led the gains among major markets in the region, with the Nikkei 225 rising 2.19% on the day to 27,369.43 while shares in robot maker Fanuc rose 4.66%. The Topix index rose 1.86% to 1,922.44.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also saw solid gains, closing 2.06% higher at 21,123.93 as Chinese tech shares in the city rose: Tencent up 2.4%, Alibaba up 4.29%, while Netease advanced 2.58%. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite closed up 0.6% at 3,149.06 while the Shenzhen Component rose 1.043% to 11,310.28.

South Korea’s Kospi closed 1.2% higher at 2,669.66, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended the day 1.45% higher at 7,286.60.

MSCI’s broader index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan gained 2.07%.

Regional investor sentiment on Monday may have been buoyed by a loosening of Covid controls over the weekend in the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

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Several major data releases are expected later in the week. China is set to announce its official Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May on Tuesday, with investors looking for clues about the economic impact of Covid-related lockdowns on the mainland.

“For the week ahead, keep an eye on PMIs, especially from China, which may show a modest rebound from April’s dip but remain in contraction territory,” analysts at OCBC Treasury Research wrote in a note on Monday.

US jobs data is expected on Friday. Markets in the US are closed on Monday for a holiday.

foreign exchange and oil

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.609 after a recent drop from levels above 102.

The Japanese yen traded at 127.29 per dollar, stronger compared to levels above 127.8 seen against the dollar last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7175 after rising last week from below $0.71.

Oil prices rose in afternoon Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 0.89% to $120.49 a barrel. US crude futures rose 0.93% to $116.14 a barrel.

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