World Economy

Asian Markets Gain, European Shares Dip

Asian Markets Gain, European Shares DipAsian Markets Gain, European Shares Dip

Asian stocks were trading higher on Monday in afternoon session, with the Chinese stocks rallying for a fifth straight day, while Japanese shares gained ground amid a stronger dollar.

In Japan, Nikkei Stock Average 225 surged 0.62% as of 3.20 p.m. in Tokyo, China’s Shanghai Composite Index surged 3%, Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries Index was up 0.73% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index 0.32% higher, MarketWatch reported.

Shanghai shares surged after a wave of government-funded infrastructure projects to stabilize growth helped to spark recent buying interest in stocks. Shares in China added 8.1% last week.

China’s Ministry of Finance said on Monday it would cut import duties on cosmetics, shoes and clothes by 50% on average, as part of a plan to boost domestic consumption and sustain economic growth.

In Japan, shares gained, helped by the stronger dollar. The greenback continues its steady rise, and is now up nearly 2.0% versus the yen since the end of April. A stronger dollar is good for profits at major exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp.

Hong Kong and Seoul were closed for public holidays.

In commodities, oil prices were trading higher. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery rose nine cents to 59.81 a barrel and Brent crude for July added seven cents to 65.44.

Gold fetched 1,202.38 compared with 1,212.40 late Friday.

Meanwhile, European shares fell in thin trade on Monday while the dollar held firm after US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates this year. European equities slipped amid low volumes as a number of markets are closed for the holiday weekend, while Asian stocks spiked to multi-year highs.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 traded slightly lower as liquidity was limited. The French CAC traded around 0.4 percent lower while Spanish stocks fell over 1 percent in early trading after ruling People’s Party (PP) took a battering in regional and local elections on Sunday as voters punished Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for four years of severe spending cuts and a string of corruption scandals.