World Economy

Asian Stocks Mostly Higher, Nikkei Leads Gains

Asian Stocks Mostly Higher, Nikkei Leads GainsAsian Stocks Mostly Higher, Nikkei Leads Gains

Asia markets closed higher while the pound rose on Monday, amid easing Brexit concerns after several weekend polls showed the Remain camp regained momentum ahead of a referendum vote to decide the UK’s future within the European Union.

Australia’s ASX 200 advanced 94.13 points, or 1.82%, to 5,256.80, with a 2.32% increase in the financials sub-index, which accounts for nearly half of the broader index. The energy and materials sub-indexes also advanced 5.39% and 2.33% respectively, CNBC reported.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 in Japan closed up 365.64 points, or 2.34%, at 15,965.30, as a relatively weaker yen took some pressure off stocks and investors ignored news of a more than 11% drop in Japanese exports for the month of May.

Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi gained 27.72 points, or 1.42%, at 1,981.12. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 1.75%.

Chinese markets retraced initial losses to close higher, with the Shanghai composite adding 3.48 points, or 0.12%, to 2,888.59, while the Shenzhen composite closed up 8.38 points, or 0.44%, at 1,909.12.

Indian markets traded mixed following news that Reserve Bank of India’s Governor Raghuram Rajan will be leaving his position once his current term ends. The Nifty 50 was up 0.44% while the Sensex added 0.45%.

The Indian rupee, however, fell 0.48% against the dollar, with the pair trading at 67.38, while other emerging market currencies advanced; it was the biggest one-day drop since May 2016.

On Saturday, RBI Governor Rajan said he would step down from his position in September, ending a three-year tenure. Rajan’s policies as governor partly helped to shore up the rupee against the dollar.

Analysts said easing Brexit concerns saw risk appetite return among investors but cautioned that markets remain volatile.

Chris Weston, chief market strategist at spreadbettor IG, said risk appetite had increased after weekend polls showed momentum in favor of the remain camp in the Brexit referendum.

The Japanese yen, considered a safe-haven asset, traded at 104.69 against the dollar, after pushing as high as 103.58 following the Bank of Japan’s decision to stand pat on monetary policy on Thursday.

Major export stocks received a boost from the relative weakness in the yen, with shares of Toyota closing up 2.71%, Nissan up 2.67% and Sony higher by 3.05%.

Major yen crosses also traded higher, with the euro/yen at 118.68, from levels near 115.46 on Thursday. The pound/yen was up 152.56, compared to around 149.00 late last week.