Asian stock markets rise as Wall Street reaches record high

by Jonathan Adams
Nikkei 225

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.8% to 30,083.19, while the Kospi in Seoul rose less than 0.1% at 3,111.64

Stock markets in Asia were mostly higher Monday after Wall Street reached a record high on optimism the deployment of coronavirus vaccines might allow global business to return to normal.

Tokyo gained while Seoul wobbled between gains and losses. Markets in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Australia were closed for holidays.

On Thursday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index added 1.2% on its last trading day before the holiday weekend, ending above 4,000 points for the first time.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 0.8% to 30,083.19 while the Kospi in Seoul rose less than 0.1% at 3,111.64 at mid-morning. Market benchmarks in Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta gained.

Investors have been encouraged by the deployment of coronavirus vaccines despite rising infection numbers in the US, Europe and other places that have prompted some governments to reimpose travel and business curbs.

On Friday, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond, or the difference between the market price and the payout at maturity, gained 1.72% from Thursday’s 1.68%.

The yield has risen sharply this year, drawing money out of stocks, on expectations revived economic activity will cause inflation to rise, reducing the value of the payout in real terms.

Major Asian stock markets advanced Friday after the S&P’s record-setting day.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude shed 37 cents to $61.08 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 2.29 on Thursday to $61.45. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 43 cents to $64.43 per barrel in London. It advanced $2.12 the previous session to $64.86 a barrel.

The dollar dropped to 110.58 yen from Thursday’s 110.63 yen. The euro declined to $1.1769 from $1.1773.



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