Nikkei, Hang Seng gain as investors’ optimism outshines dismal economic data
BEIJING — Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street advanced as investors looked past dismal U.S. jobs and other data toward hopes for a global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Shanghai Composite Index CN:SHCOMP rose 0.3% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 JP:NIK gained 1.4%. The Hang Seng HK:HSI in Hong Kong advanced 1.9%. The Kospi KR:180721 in Seoul was 0.2% higher and Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO added 1.2%. New Zealand NZ:NZ50GR , Singapore SG:STI , Taiwan TW:Y9999 and Jakarta ID:JAKIDX also advanced.
U.S. shares gained Friday despite a government report that American employers cut a record-setting 20.5 million jobs in April.
Investor optimism is gaining as China and some other countries begin to revive their economies. But with infection numbers still rising in the United States, Brazil and some other countries, analysts warn a global recovery might be some way off.
“While the argument that forward-looking market hopes of recovery should override backward looking economic gloom may not be groundless, it inevitably understates inherent fragilities and risks,” said Riki Ogawa of Mizuho Bank in a report.
On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 Index US:SPX rose 1.7% to 2,929.80 for its fourth gain in five days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average US:DJIA added 1.9% to 24,331.32. The Nasdaq composite US:COMP rose 1.6% to 9,121.32.
Investors looked ahead to a week filled with data announcements including European factory output and trade, U.S. unemployment claims and retail sales and Australian jobs.
Markets got a jolt Sunday when one of Latin America’s largest airlines, Avianca US:AVH , asked a New York City bankruptcy court for protection from creditors while the carrier reorganizes amid a travel slump it said has cut revenue 80%.
Also Sunday, China’s central bank promised to use “more powerful” policies to support economic recovery and job creation.
Investors hoping for reassurance were looking ahead to an appearance by U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday.
“He is certainly not going to walk back any of the Fed extraordinary stimulus measures,” said Stephen Inness of AxiTrader in a report. “If anything, he could lay it down even thicker.”
In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude US:CLM20 lost 44 cents to $24.30 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.19 on Friday to $24.74. Brent crude UK:BRNN20 , used to price international oils, shed 41 cents to $30.56 per barrel in London. It rose $1.51 the previous session to $30.97.
The dollar US:USDJPY declined to 106.79 yen from Friday’s 106.97 yen.