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Asia stocks mixed following upbeat Wall Street lead

Australia's "Big Four" banks were higher on the day, with ANZ climbing 0.43%.

 
Asia stocks mixed following upbeat Wall Street lead

Asian shares were mixed on Monday in morning session after Wall Street boasted its best start to a year in over a decade.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.1% having climbed 3.1% last week, its strongest performance in six months.

Australian stocks gained 0.15%, while South Korea rose 0.1%. Japan’s Nikkei was closed for a holiday.

Greater China markets were little changed in the early going. The Hang Seng Index took a pause, trading 0.04% lower after seeing gains of 2.6% last week.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite edged down 0.07% and the Shenzhen Composite declined 0.36%.

US jobs report released on Friday missed forecasts, but the report was perfect for equities given unemployment stayed low but with little sign of the inflationary pressures that would make the Federal Reserve more aggressive in tightening policy.

Wall Street has already enjoyed its best start to a year in more than a decade, with the Dow up 2.3% last week and the S&P 500 2.6%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the charge with a rise of 3.4%.

Australia's "Big Four" banks were higher on the day, with ANZ climbing 0.43%. Gold producers, meanwhile, declined, with the All Ordinaries Gold index edging lower by 0.46%.

In South Korea, retailers, automakers and trading houses rose in the session, with Lotte Shopping adding 2.08%. Blue chips Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, however, lost 0.08% and 1.26%, respectively.

In Hong Kong, most property developers rose, extending gains recorded in the previous session. China Evergrande was higher by 3.66% and China Vanke tacked on 5.04%.

In currency markets, the dollar had steadied for the moment after a rocky couple of weeks. Against the yen, the dollar traded at 113.12. The Australian dollar was mostly steady at $0.7864.

In commodities, oil was slightly firmer after slipping in the previous trading session on the back of higher US production. US West Texas Intermediate tacked on 0.29% to trade at $61.62 a barrel and Brent crude futures added 0.18% to trade at $67.74.

 

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