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Asia report: Markets finish higher, RBA stands pat on policy

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 02 Jun 2020

Asia report: Markets finish higher, RBA stands pat on policy

(Sharecast News) - Markets in Asia finished in the green across the board on Tuesday, as investors watched the continued easing of economic restrictions in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak globally.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was ahead 1.19% at 22,325.61, as the yen weakened 0.15% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 107.75.

Fashion firm Fast Retailing was down 0.21%, while among the benchmark's other major components, automation specialist Fanuc rose 1.15% and technology conglomerate SoftBank Group was 3.33% firmer.

The broader Topix index was up 1.21% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing its day at 1,587.68.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was ahead 0.2% at 2,921.40, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite also gained 0.2% to settle at 1,846.66.

South Korea's Kospi was 1.07% firmer at 2,087.19, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong gained 1.11% to 23,995.94.

The blue-chip technology stocks were mixed in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics rising 0.39%, while chipmaker SK Hynix fell 0.36%.

Geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing were once again at the fore of traders' minds, after a Reuters report suggested that Chinese state-owned firms were ordered to halt purchases of American pork and soybeans.

That move came after US president Donald Trump said at the end of last week that he would move to cancel Hong Kong's special trading status with the United States, after Beijing approved a new security bill for the special administrative region that drew widespread global condemnation.

Oil prices were higher at the end of the Asian day, with Brent crude last up 2.64% at $39.33 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate rising 2.65% to $36.38.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 managed gains of 0.27% to 5,835.10, as investors digested the latest policy statement from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which said it would maintain the current status quo.

"Over the past month, infection rates have declined in many countries and there has been some easing of restrictions on activity," said the central bank's governor Philip Lowe.

"If this continues, a recovery in the global economy will get under way, supported by both the large fiscal packages and the significant easing in monetary policies."

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was 1.39% firmer after returning from a holiday on Monday, closing at 11,034.17.

Wellington's bourse was led higher by Tourism Holdings, which was up 11.9% after news that the camping vehicle rental firm had sold out over the holiday weekend, as restrictions were eased in the country and New Zealanders were encouraged to take domestic trips.

Both of the down under dollars were stronger on the greenback, with the Aussie last ahead 0.8% at AUD 1.4593, and the Kiwi advancing 0.31% to NZD 1.5840.


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