Asian Shares push higher as more countries ease lockdowns

Asian shares followed Wall Street higher on Monday as investors looked ahead to more countries restarting their economies, even as some reported an unwelcome pick up in new coronavirus cases.

Asian Shares

  • MSCI (NYSE:MSCI)’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) firmed 1.1%.
  • Japan’s Nikkei (N225) added 1.6%.
  • Chinese blue chips (CSI300) 0.7%.
  • E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 (ESc1) opened soft but bounced as the morning wore on and was last up 0.5%.

Currency Markets

  • The dollar was a shade firmer on the yen at 106.94 on Monday but well within the 105.97 to 109.37 band that has lasted since late March.
  • The euro was a fraction softer at $1.0830 (EUR=) but above last week’s low at $1.0765.
  • Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was idling at 99.837 (=USD), sandwiched between support at 98.769 and resistance around 100.40.

Commodities

  • In commodity markets, gold edged up 0.5% to $1,708 an ounce.

Oil prices opened about 1% lower as a persistent glut weighed on prices and the coronavirus pandemic eroded global oil demand, even as some governments began to ease lockdowns.

  • Brent crude (LCOc1) futures lost 54 cents to $30.43 a barrel.
  • U.S. crude (CLc1) fell 53 cents to $24.21.

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