Asia-Pacific Shares: Nikkei 225 Index Hits Three-Decade High; Aussie Shares Follow Commodities Higher

by Warrior2

The benchmark Nikkei ended at 30,084.15, reclaiming the psychologically important 30,000 level for the first time since August 1990.

The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes finished higher on Monday with Japan leading the charge as markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan remained closed for the Lunar holiday. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 surged past the 30,000 level for the first time in more than 30 years, according to data from Refinitiv. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.57%.

Cash Market Performance

In the cash market on Monday, South Korea’s KOSPI Index settled at 3147.00, up 46.42, up 1.50%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 6868.90, up 62.20 or +0.91% and in Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index closed at 30084.15, up 564.08 or 1.91%.

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Japan’s Nikkei Closes Above 30,000 on Earnings Rebound, Economy Growth Hopes

Japanese shares surged on Monday to close at over a 30-year high on rising expectations for a rebound in corporate earnings and economic growth.

The benchmark Nikkei ended at 30,084.15, reclaiming the psychologically important 30,000 level for the first time since August 1990. Energy, healthcare, and industrial shares led the gains. The broader Topix rose 1.04% to 1,953.94 to close at its highest since June 1991.

Shares of companies that have reported positive earnings rose, as investors continued to bet on sectors expected to perform well as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan is expected to start coronavirus vaccinations this week, which is also supporting stock prices. However, Japanese stocks have rallied 8% so far this month, and some analysts warn that the market may be overheating.

“Stocks have risen so fast you could say they’ve broken the speed limit,” said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

“Earnings growth has already been priced in for at least a year from now. There is reluctance to chase the upside from here, but stocks won’t fall too much.”

The stocks that gained the most among the top 30 core Topix names were Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd up 3.6%, followed by Fanuc Corp, up 3.39%.

Australia Shares End Higher on Commodity Boost, Economic Rebound Bets

Australian shares ended firmer on Monday as a surge in commodity prices lifted mining and energy stocks, while corporate earnings and hopes of a global economic rebound in the wake of coronavirus vaccine rollouts also boosted sentiment.

Miners closed 1.91% higher, with copper prices at their peak in more than eight years. Global miner Rio Tinto Ltd gained 1.8% while rival BHP Ltd advanced 2.3%.

Energy shares also gained as oil prices hit their highest in more than a year amid fears of heightened tensions in the Middle East.

Electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi jumped to see its best day in a month after posting an 86% surge in first-half profit, driven by online sales, while Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd gained 11.3% on logging a 67% climb in half-year profit.

Investors also kept an eye on fresh COVID-19 cases at home after Victoria went into a five-day lockdown last week following the emergence of a fresh COVID-19 cluster in Melbourne

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