TOKYO – Asian stocks were mostly higher on Monday, supported by further signs of recovery in Chinese manufacturing.
The Japanese reference Nikkei 225 NIK,
added 1.4% in the morning trade, while South Korea’s Kospi 180721,
gained 1%. Australian S & P / ASX 200 XJO,
added 0.2%. Hang Seng HSI from Hong Kong,
edged up 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP,
decreased by less than 0.1%. Shares rose in Singapore STI,
but declined in Taiwan Y9999,
and Indonesia JAKIDX,
Caixin’s manufacturing PMI, a major indicator of China’s manufacturing sector, rose in October, showing that domestic demand is resisting. But if coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States and Europe, it will likely hurt Chinese exports.
Yet a resurgence of COVID-19 outbreaks worries investors, on top of the uncertainty surrounding the US presidential election.
The government’s leading infectious disease expert has warned that the United States will face “a lot of injuries” in the coming weeks due to the surge in coronavirus cases. Dr Anthony Fauci said in an interview with the Washington Post that the United States “could not be better positioned” to stem surge in cases as more people congregate indoors during colder fall months and winter.
In addition to pandemic and election concerns, market players expect a plethora of expected earnings reports from Japan and the rest of the region, including automakers and video game maker Nintendo Co. 7974 ,
“With American voters heading to the polls this week, or more accurately not going to the polls, having already voted by mail in large numbers, Asia will look nervously west this week, wondering what will be the result, and it will mean something to them, ”said Robert Carnell, Regional Head of Research at ING.
The focus is on the relationship between the United States and China, but investors are not sure what change either outcome could bring on this issue. While Democratic candidate Joe Biden could go more smoothly on tariffs, he’s unlikely to ease U.S. policy on other issues such as human rights, Carnell said in a report.
Last week proved punitive for Wall Street, with the S&P 500 posting its first straight monthly loss since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the economy in March.
Investors have cashed in the gains from the recovery in recent months and decided to freeze profits ahead of the election.
The S&P 500 SPX,
fell 1.2% to 3,269.96, ending the week with a loss of 5.6%, its worst in seven months. The sharp declines in major tech stocks drove much of the sales, reflecting fears that expectations are too high for some of the biggest stars in the market, including Apple AAPL,
and Amazon AMZN,
The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
fell 0.6% to 26,501.60. The Nasdaq composite COMP,
dropped 2.5% at 10,911.59.
In energy trading on Monday, the benchmark US crude CLZ20,
slipped from $ 1.33 to $ 34.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost 38 cents to $ 35.79 a barrel on Friday. Brent crude BRN00,
the international standard, fell from $ 1.30 to $ 46.64 per barrel.
The US dollar USDJPY,
remained unchanged at 104.66 Japanese yen.