Asian Markets Close Broadly Higher as UK, EU Reach Divorce Deal
By Investors Hub
Asian stocks closed broadly higher on Monday after data showed the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected last month and the U.K. reached a divorce deal with the European Union, setting stage to move on to future trade talks post-Brexit.
Regional gains remained somewhat muted outside China and Hong Kong as investors waited for cues from key policy meetings of the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Swiss National Bank due this week.
Chinese stocks rallied, led by consumer staple and healthcare companies, after media reports indicated the government is in no hurry to finalize its new asset management rules.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index jumped 32.20 points or 0.98 percent to 3,322.20 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 1.1 percent at 28,965 in late trade.
Japanese shares rose for a third straight session to hit a fresh 25-year high as the yen held weaker and a survey showed Japan’s business survey index of large manufacturers strengthened again in the fourth quarter.
The Nikkei average rose 127.65 points or 0.56 percent to 22,938.73, the highest closing level since early 1992. The broader Topix index closed 0.53 percent higher at 1,813.34.
Financials led the surge, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial climbing 1.5 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.
Obayashi shares plummeted 7.2 percent amid reports the construction firm was being investigated for rigging bids in connection with a ¥9 trillion ($79 billion) maglev train project.
Australian shares ended a choppy session marginally higher, led by gains in mining, energy and financial stocks after the release of better-than-expected U.S. jobs data.
Retail Food Group, owner of the Gloria Jean’s, Donut King and Brumby’s Bakery brands, slumped 26 percent after reports that the company is driving its franchisees into bankruptcy with a brutal business model.
Seoul stocks reversed early losses to end modestly higher amid buying by institutional investors. The benchmark Kospi gained 7.49 points or 0.30 percent to finish at 2,471.49, with shares of tobacco company KT&G Corp climbing as much as 3 percent.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor plunged 5.4 percent after its labor union said it would stage three or four strikes over five consecutive days.