Asia-Pacific markets were higher on Monday, with the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index leading the gains, added about 2.12%, followed by the South Korea’s KOSPI by 1.85%. The Shanghai composite rose 0.73%, Nikkei 225 advanced 0.38%, the Australia’s S&P/ASX gained 0.36%, and the India’s S&P BSE Sensex index nudged 0.16% higher. The Singapore’s Straits Times index retreated -0.33% lower.
On Friday, the Dow fell 0.57%, the S&P 500 lost 0.30% and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.09%. The three main U.S. indexes closed higher for the week, with the Nasdaq up over 4%.
Oil prices were lower for a second straight session, as renewed COVID-19 lockdowns raised concerns about global fuel demand. The Brent crude futures traded to $55.38 a barrel, while U.S. crude at $52.34.
On Friday, the Brent closed at $55.41 per barrel, while WTI futures ended at $52.27 per barrel.
The dollar index stood at 90.13, flat on the day. It bounced back on off last week’s low of 90.043 set on Thursday.
Major pairs were trapped in a tight range as markets awaited a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday.
Safe-haven gold slid to $1,853.40 per ounce, while down around $1,854.80 per ounce for gold futures. Previously closed at $1,855.50 and $1,856.20, respectively.
Silver trading at $25.50, platinum trading at $1,094.00 and palladium trading at $2,290.00.
Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade as investors continue to monitor the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and on doubts over the ability of vaccine makers to supply the promised doses, and as investors remained cautious over the first U.S. Fed meeting under President Joe Biden administration later today.
The Joe Biden administration and Democratic and Republican lawmakers discussing a new $1.9 trillion in coronavirus relief agreed on Sunday that the most important priority should be producing and efficiently distributing a vaccine.
China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment, amid the pandemic, according to a report released Sunday from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. China brought in $163 billion in inflows last year, compared to $134 billion by the U.S.
To date, number of confirmed worldwide cases for COVID-19 pandemic has surpassed 99.192 million affecting 213 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances, recording more than 2.129 million fatality globally.
Important Levels to Watch for Today:
- Resistance line of 103.949 and 104.147.
- Support line of 103.308 and 103.109.
The dollar traded flat at 103.73 yen, following levels below 103.5 against the greenback seen last week.
The U.S. Federal Reserve statements will be closely watched when it concludes a 2-day meeting on Wednesday.
Optimism that the new U.S. administration's massive stimulus package will bolster growth and sapped demand for safe-haven currencies, meanwhile, is weighting on the dollar.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga faced renewed pressure on Monday over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with a new opinion poll showing many believed the government was too slow to respond to the latest wave of infections.
Support for Suga’s cabinet dropped to 33% from 39% last month, with disapproval rising 10 points to 45%, according to a poll published by the Asahi newspaper on Monday.