APAC markets start the week on a high, major indices surge 2%

Equity markets in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region were rallying on Monday morning after the Hong Kong markets bounced back from last week’s bearish trend.

By Monday afternoon, the benchmark Hang Seng Index of Hong Kong was trading 1.78% higher, after shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings rose 3.39% while Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing surged 6.17%.

Huge losses during the last week left the Hang Seng index more than 20% below its mid-February high after regulatory uncertainty clouded the outlook for Chinese tech firms listed in Hong Kong.

Shares in mainland China rose as well, with the Shanghai Composite surging 1.5%, while the Shenzhen Component surged 1.84%.

The best performer in the region was the Taiwan Weighted Index – rising 2.55% by afternoon.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 1.79% minutes before the market close while the Topix index jumped 1.87%.

In neighbouring South Korea, the KOSPI traded 0.93% higher.

Australia was the worst performer among the major markets in the region – with the ASX200 gaining just 0.35% some time before the market close. Even though its performance was muted compared with its peers, yet it helped the Australian markets come out of a five-day losing streak. Already burdened with one of the worst COVID-19 infection rates of late, Australia also reported a dismal performance on the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) front. While the services PMI contracted, the manufacturing PMI slowed down to the worst level in 14 months.

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