APAC markets open in green; investors watchful of COVID-19 scenario

Summary

  • APAC Markets open in green as investors go local on COVID-19 lockdown
  • COVID-19 woes have resurfaced again
  • China had announced a 50 bps cut in the reserve requirement for the banks

The equity markets in the Asia Pacific region seem to have thwarted the bears that gripped the markets on Friday. The regional indices opened in green on Monday morning as investors have started monitoring the COVID-19 situation locally.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.99% in the first half an hour of the trade, while the Topix index jumped 1.78%. In neighbouring South Korea, the benchmark KOSPI also advanced 0.88%.

Down Under, in Australia, as well, stocks were buoyed on back of global buying even as the worries over slowing economic recovery seem to have played a spoilsport. The country’s benchmark ASX200 was up 1.02% at the time of filing this copy.

In neighbouring New Zealand, the Dow Jones New Zealand was also trading up by 0.50%.

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley Capital International’s (MSCI) broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was also trading 0.31% higher.

On the economic front, China’s central bank on Friday announced a 50 basis points cut in its reserve requirement ratio for all banks, effective from July. The move may uplift the credit take-off in the economy which has been witnessing early signs of slowdown.

Meanwhile the COVID-19 pandemic, after a hiatus of a month or so, has started haunting people again, with investors continuing to watch the coronavirus situation. The fresh weekly cases have started surging by double-digit figures again.

                   

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However, this time, the responses – in way of lockdown – have been more localised in nature.  In Japan, the government is set to put Tokyo under a new COVID-19 state of emergency on Monday while stricter social distancing restrictions are set to kick in for the greater Seoul area in South Korea. The new rules in Tokyo would leave the venues across the capital city spectatorless for the upcoming Olympics.

In Australia as well, the provincial government in New South Wales, has extended COVID-19 restrictions in the Sydney area by another week.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, many other countries including Indonesia and Malaysia continue to struggle with a recent surge in infections.


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