Asian Shares Advance On Growth Optimism

Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as investors continued to buy cyclical shares on optimism about the economic reopening from the coronavirus pandemic.

Against a backdrop of rising inflation, investors awaited policy cues from the Federal Reserve meeting this week.

Chinese stocks recovered some ground, with the upside capped by lingering concerns over policy tightening.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite climbed 26.79 points, or 0.8 percent, to 3,446.73. Consumer staple stocks led the surge after steep losses in the previous session. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended up 0.7 percent at 29,027.69.

Japanese shares rose as prospects of a stimulus-driven global economic recovery got brighter. The Nikkei 225 Index rose 154.12 points, or 0.5 percent, to 29,921.09, while the broader Topix closed 0.7 percent higher at 1,981.50, its highest close since May 14, 1991.

Heavyweight SoftBank Group advanced 2.4 percent, while Tokyo Electron rose 1.5 percent and Advantest gained 3.4 percent in the tech space. Travel-related stocks surged, with Japan Airlines and ANA Holdings jumping 3.9 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

E-commerce firm Rakuten Inc. fell 2.4 percent on profit taking after rallying up to 24 percent on reports of a capital tie-up with Japan Post Holdings.

Australian markets advanced, led by gold miners and technology companies. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 54.10 points, or 0.8 percent, to 6,827.10 as the RBA’s March policy meeting minutes reinforced the view that there will be no rate increases for a considerable time. The broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 59.90 points, or 0.9 percent, at 7,079.

Tech stocks such as Afterpay, Appen and Xero surged 3-4 percent. A rise in bullion prices lifted gold miners, with Evolution Mining rising 2.5 percent. Energy stocks ended on a mixed note as oil extended declines for a third day.

Real estate developer Dexus climbed 2.9 percent after it launched a merger proposal with a wholesale property fund managed by AMP Capital.

Seoul stocks advanced amid falling Treasury yields. The benchmark Kospi rose 21.46 points, or 0.7 percent, to 3,067.17. Chipmaker SK Hynix rallied 2.9 percent, while chemical firm LG Chem plunged 7.8 percent.

New Zealand shares rose notably after Wall Street’s main indexes hit record highs overnight. The benchmark NZX-50 Index climbed 96.79 points, or 0.8 percent, to 12,689.05. Retail chain company Briscoe surged 5.6 percent after posting a record annual profit.

Electricity retailer and generator Mercury NZ jumped 5.3 percent after it joined with Powering Australian Renewables to buy four wind farms from Tilt Renewables.

U.S. stocks closed higher overnight amid bets that a faster vaccination rollout and additional government stimulus will boost consumer spending – a powerful driver of overall economic growth – in the second half of the year. A pullback in benchmark Treasury rates also offered some support.

The Dow rose half a percent and the S&P 500 climbed 0.7 percent to reach new record closing highs, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rallied 1.1 percent.

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