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Market Update

Asian Stocks End on Six-Week High

Shares in the Asian region ended on a strong note on Monday. Positive global cues and receding worries over the Greece fiscal problem aided sentiment as all key indexes in the region closed up, helped by gains in exporters and resource plays.

At close, Japan's Nikkei gained 2.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 2%, China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.7% while India's BSE Sensex was up 0.6%.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index, which tracks key shares in the region, mirrored the rally with a 1.9% gain to 122.56, a six-week high.

Asian markets also rallied thanks to a rise in U.S. markets on Friday, which surged on improving employment data.

As investors chose to embrace risk and move into riskier assets, the currencies market also saw sharp movements with the Japanese yen weakening sharply against both the U.S. dollar and the euro. At the time of writing, the yen depreciated to above 90 per dollar and 123 per euro.

The euro's strength was also in part due to receding worries on the Greece debt issue after France Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Europe would help the nation solve its fiscal woes.

The weakening yen sent Japanese exporter stocks surging amid hopes of improved margins. Sony Corp, which derives a large chunk of its revenues from sales outside of Japan, went up 2.8%. Nissan Motors, with more than a third of its sales coming from North America, climbed 4.7%.

Among other export-oriented companies, shares in Canon and Honda Motors climbed 2.3% and 3.9%, respectively.

Japanese JFE Holdings, one of the world's top steelmakers, gained 3.6% after striking a deal for coking coal with BHP Billiton on Friday.

Earlier, the Australian benchmark index, the ASX, closed 0.9% higher with resource plays in demand.

A rally in commodity prices, which have risen on hopes that a firm global economic recovery is under way, helped Australian mining stocks, with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rising 2.4% and 2.6%, respectively.

Arrow Energy zoomed 47% after the company said it has received a cash bid for takeover from a company owned by Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina.