Asian shares rise as vaccine hopes inject relief
Asian shares rose on Monday, pushing a broad regional index to a record high as investors pinned their hopes for economic revival on coronavirus vaccines, even as the world contends with surging case numbers and delays to fresh U.S. stimulus.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.71% on Monday, pushing past a previous record high touched on Friday.
- Seoul’s Kospi was 1.83% higher as an optimistic earnings outlook for South Korean chip giants drove gains.
- Japanese markets were closed for a holiday, but Nikkei futures added 0.27% to 25,815.
- The regional index also got a boost from Australian shares which gained 0.34% as the country eased some COVID-19 restrictions. Most of the country has seen no new community infections or deaths in several weeks.
- Chinese blue-chips added 1.54%.
- The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, nudged down to 92.250.
- Commodity markets were more bullish, with traders optimistic about a recovery in crude demand pushing oil higher.
- Global benchmark Brent crude rose 0.58% to $45.22 per barrel and U.S. crude bumped 0.28% higher to $42.54 per barrel.
- Spot gold added 0.19% to $1,874.06 per ounce.