Stocks rallied in Asia early Monday, with Japan’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng indexes leading the way. Australian stocks were also strong.
Japanese stocks NIK, +1.24% were broadly higher thanks partly to a weaker yen after the news of President Trump’s infection with coronavirus dented the market on Friday. Auto, railway and financial stocks topped the gainers. Automaker Subaru Corp. 7270, +3.58% is up 4.7%, Central Japan Railway 9022, +6.32% is 4.1% higher and Dai-ichi Life Holdings 8750, +4.26% is up 4.9%.
The U.S. dollar was fetching 105.56 Japanese yen USDJPY, +0.25% , up from 105.09 as of Friday’s Tokyo stock market close. U.S. and Japan policy developments are being closely watched. The Nikkei Stock Average is up 1.3% early.
The Hang Seng HSI, +1.46% was ahead just over 1.5% in initial trading.
Tech stocks are among the best performers, with Tencent Holdings 700, +2.44% rising 2.8%, Xiaomi Corp. 1810, +0.73% gaining 1.5% and Sunny Optical Technology up 0.5% 2382, -2.70% . Property stocks are also higher, with Hang Lung Properties 101, +4.69% gaining 2.7%, Henderson Land Development 12, +1.57% rising 1.8% and Sun Hung Kai Properties 16, +0.70% up 0.7%. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. 981, -5.74% is down 4.5% after saying that export controls imposed by the U.S. could have an adverse impact on its operations.
But Hong Kong-listed casino operators may remain under pressure as Macau’s Golden Week visitor data disappoint, Jefferies says. Visitor numbers to the special administrative region for the first three days of China’s weeklong holiday were 13% of 2019 levels due to lengthier visa approvals and stringent requirements for a negative virus test, the bank says.
Australia’s benchmark stock index shot up more than 2% early Monday as analysts saw reason for optimism in the country’s retail sales data. Excluding Victoria state, where there were strict lockdown measures, August sales seemed better, posting growth of 13% compared with 15% in July.
Stock valuations for many Aussie retailers are already pricing in strong sales, so investors should choose exposures carefully, UBS says. The bank favors retailers with attractive valuations, those that might benefit from the coronavirus situation because they have a strong online presence, or those with longer-term growth opportunities.
It names Woolworths WOW, +1.48% , Harvey Norman HVN, +2.87% , Adairs ADH, +3.38% , Metcash MTS, +2.21% , Bapcor BAP, +4.00% and Collins CKF, -0.29% UBS notes that nationwide August retail spending growth slowed to 7%, compared with 12% in July.
New Zealand’s NZX-50 NZ50GR, +0.63% edged slightly higher in early trading. Gains are driven by a2 Milk ATM, +1.57% , Synlait Milk SML, +1.28% , Ryman Healthcare RYM, +1.51% , Auckland International Airport and Port of Tauranga. Infant formula marketing company a2 Milk rose 0.7% after falling nearly 18% last week on a downgraded earnings outlook for FY 2021. Property for Industry was ups 1.5% after adding a NZ$65 million industrial estate in Auckland to its portfolio of commercial tenants.
The story was compiled from Dow Jones Newswires and Associated Press reports.