The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished mixed last week. Gains were posted in Japan, China and Australia. South Korea and Hong Kong were lower. Investors took most of their cues from Wall Street and economic data from China. a number of the results were skewed due to holidays early within the week.

In the cash market last week, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 20179.09, up 559.74 or +2.85%. South Korea’s KOSPI finished at 1945.82, down 1.74 or -0.09% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at 24230.17, down 413.42 or -1.68%.

China’s Shanghai Index settled at 2895.34, up 35.26 or +1.23% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 5391.10, up 145.20 or +2.77%.

Japan – Easing of US-China Tensions Fuels Surge

Japanese shares advanced last week, in line with Wall Street’s gains, as news of top trade representatives of China and therefore the us holding phone talks calmed investors worried about simmering Sino-U.S. tensions, with cyclicals leading the rally.

On the domestic front, hopes for a possible lifting of Japan’s state of emergency in some areas before the nationwide deadline of May 31 also supported investors’ risk appetite, said traders.

Gains may are limited due to the short public holiday week.

Top U.S. and Chinese trade representatives discussed their Phase 1 deal over the phone on Friday, with China saying they agreed to enhance the atmosphere for its implementation and therefore the us saying each side expected obligations to be met.

Japan’s economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday that more prefectures were reporting zero coronavirus cases on a day to day and lifting the state of emergency for those regions before the nationwide deadline was accessible .

Hong Kong – GDP Plunges

Hong Kong posted its biggest-ever quarterly economic contraction on Monday, because the coronavirus pandemic dealt a blow to the Asian financial hub following months of social unrest.

First-quarter gross domestic product dropped 8.9% compared with an equivalent period a year earlier, consistent with an advance government reading, falling in need of market expectations and marking the city’s steepest GDP decline on record.

The economic downturn is attributed to “the continued weak performance in both domestic and external demand, as suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” a government spokesperson said during a statement, adding that U.S.-China tensions and financial-market volatility “continue to warrant attention.”

In a press conference on Monday, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said the city’s economy “would not revive within the short-term,” because the three pillars of Hong Kong’s economic process – exports, investment and consumption – have all been severely hit.

Australia – Buyers Cheer Lifting of Coronavirus Restrictions

Australian stocks ended higher last week, marking their second straight weekly gain, after the govt unveiled plans to finish most coronavirus restrictions by July and as talks between U.S. and Chinese trade officials lifted sentiment.

Hopes for an economic recovery reception got a lift from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s decide to ease social distancing restrictions during a three-step process, which might remove all curbs by July and obtain nearly 1 million people back to figure amid a decline in coronavirus cases.


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