Asian equities were in green on Monday if one can ignore covid woes in key regional areas mainly in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. In doing so, the broader sentiment follows Wall Street’s gain after the US economics stay firm following the faster jabbing in the West. Though, Europe’s infection and chatters surrounding US president Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending plan test the optimists.
Against this backdrop, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rise 0.17% intraday, near the two-week top, whereas Japan’s Nikkei 225 follows the suit even as Tokyo and peripheral constituencies flash signs of another virus-led emergency.
While following the footsteps of Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura has also conveyed the intention, per Kyodo News, to ask the central government to declare a fresh state of emergency in Osaka Prefecture amid a resurgence of novel coronavirus cases. Despite that, its worth mentioning that Japan’s trade numbers flash strong signals for March and Industrial Production also improved from the initial estimations for February.
Elsewhere in the region, Australia’s ASX 200 and New Zealand’s NZX 50 are up near 0.30% intraday as the trans-Tasman travel bubble opens. Also on the positive side could be New Zealand’s Business NZ PSI data that crossed upwardly revised 49.7 prior readings with 52.4 figures for March. Further, stocks in China and Hong Kong were also on the positive side amid chatters of no major challenges to the currently easy monetary policy and optimism in the West.
Meanwhile, markets in India became the biggest loser, headlines BSE Sensex, down 2.60% intraday by the press time, as the COVID-19 figures from the Asian nations refresh record high with 2,73,810 new cases and 1,619 deaths in the last 24 hours, per Reuters. Although the conditions are a bit less severe in Indonesia and the Philippines, markets from these two nations also register 0.60% intraday downside each by press time.
On a broader front, S&P 500 Futures print mild losses amid chatters over US President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan and how a tax reduction could help it pass the Senate. Though, the US 10-year Treasury yield remains pressured around 1.56% despite an absence of major data/events.
Considering the light calendar, investors should keep their eyes on the risk catalysts for fresh impulse ahead of tomorrow’s monetary policy meeting by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the minutes of the latest RBA meeting.