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Feb. 19, 2018, 1:50 a.m. EST

Asian markets continue to push higher: ‘It’s kind of a relief rally’

Nikkei, Kospi both up more than 1% following holiday

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By Suryatapa Bhattacharya


Reuters
Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi tastes the sky during the women’s big-air competition Monday at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Asian shares rose Monday as confidence in equities continued to creep back, with some markets in the region gaining after the Lunar New Year holiday.

South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.23%   was up 0.8%, Singapore’s benchmark /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.12%   gained 1.1% and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -0.16%   closed up 2% at a two-week high helped by some yen softening after last week’s sharp rises. Shares in Australia /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.28% /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.28% rose, while stocks in New Zealand /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.50% underperformed.

/zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.50% Markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan remain closed for the holiday. U.S. markets will be closed Monday for Presidents Day.

The gains in Asia are the latest indication of improving confidence in global equities following a correction earlier in February sparked by fears about rising inflation. Investors are now refocusing on strong earnings.

“It’s kind of a relief rally,” said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Securities in Tokyo. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its best week since President Donald Trump’s election win, while the S&P 500’s weekly jump last week was its largest since 2013.

Both retail and institutional investors in Japan were using the recent dip as a buying opportunity, Mr. Hiroki added, against a background of healthy economic growth. Japanese exports rose for a 14th straight month in January, led by continued demand from Asia for semiconductor equipment, Japan’s finance ministry said Monday.

Among the day’s biggest movers, Fast Retailing /zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed JP:9983 -0.38%  gained 2.5% while automated machinery maker Fanuc /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 -0.69%   added 3.7%.

The Nikkei got an extra lift as the yen shed some of its gains from last week. The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561418/realtime/sampled JPYUSD -0.0436%   was recently at ¥106.47 versus ¥105.76 when Tokyo stocks stopped trading Monday versus ¥105.76 at the close Friday.

Export-related stocks gained. Nintendo   was up 1.9%. Toyota Motor /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 +0.59%   gained 2% and Honda Motor /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 +0.07%   climbed 1.9%.

Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.23%  also climbed near two-week highs with the index up 0.8%, supported by Samsung Electronics /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +1.28%  shares, which gained 3%.

Broad gains helped push up Australia’s ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +0.28%  to its highest close in two weeks following a recovery by most of the major banks and a strong corporate earnings season. The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6% with National Australia Bank /zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed AU:NAB +0.43%   advancing 0.8%. Beach Energy /zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed AU:BPT -2.61%   , Brambles /zigman2/quotes/200985667/delayed AU:BXB -0.18%   , NIB Holdings /zigman2/quotes/207029716/delayed AU:NHF -1.31%   and Seek /zigman2/quotes/208630299/delayed AU:SEK -0.92%  each gained at least 1% after releasing earnings results.

Both retail and institutional investors in Japan were using the recent dip as a buying opportunity, Hiroki added, against a background of healthy economic growth. Japanese exports rose for a 14th straight month in January, led by continued demand from Asia for semiconductor equipment, Japan’s finance ministry said Monday.

Shares in Singapore and Malaysia /zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed MY:FBMKLCI +0.76%   also gained, helped by strength in banks and infrastructure-related stocks.

New Zealand’s NZX 50 /zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed NZ:NZ50GR +0.50%   was the underperformer of the region, closing down 0.1%, ahead of earnings results due this week.

— Robb M. Stewart in Melbourne, Australia, contributed to this article.

/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,152.02
+5.02 +0.23%
Volume: 1.00M
June 4, 2020 12:47p
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/zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed
SG : Singapore: SGX
2,697.15
-3.24 -0.12%
Volume: 0.00
June 4, 2020 11:52a
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/zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed
JP : Nikkei
22,577.79
-35.97 -0.16%
Volume: 0.00
June 4, 2020 12:47p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
5,958.20
+16.60 +0.28%
Volume: 690,015
June 4, 2020 1:47p
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
5,958.20
+16.60 +0.28%
Volume: 690,015
June 4, 2020 1:47p
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed
NZ : New Zealand: NZX
11,173.47
+55.20 +0.50%
Volume: 0.00
June 4, 2020 3:46p
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/zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed
NZ : New Zealand: NZX
11,173.47
+55.20 +0.50%
Volume: 0.00
June 4, 2020 3:46p
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/zigman2/quotes/200663563/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 63,300.00
-240.00 -0.38%
Volume: 715,200
June 4, 2020 12:47p
P/E Ratio
43.43
Dividend Yield
0.76%
Market Cap
¥6303.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥40.83M
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/zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 19,520.00
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June 4, 2020 12:47p
P/E Ratio
51.13
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
¥3686.18 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥95.87M
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/zigman2/quotes/210561418/realtime/sampled
US : Tullett Prebon
0.0092
0.0000 -0.0436%
Volume: 0.0000
June 4, 2020 12:07a
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/zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 6,956.00
+41.00 +0.59%
Volume: 5.12M
June 4, 2020 12:47p
P/E Ratio
9.55
Dividend Yield
3.16%
Market Cap
¥18737.90 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥81.43M
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/zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed
JP : Japan: Tokyo
¥ 2,899.50
+2.00 +0.07%
Volume: 3.38M
June 4, 2020 12:47p
P/E Ratio
11.20
Dividend Yield
3.86%
Market Cap
¥4876.81 billion
Rev. per Employee
¥73.06M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed
KR : Korea Exchange
2,152.02
+5.02 +0.23%
Volume: 1.00M
June 4, 2020 12:47p
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/zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed
KR : S. Korea: KRX
55,200.00
+700.00 +1.28%
Volume: 28.88M
June 4, 2020 12:47p
P/E Ratio
17.61
Dividend Yield
2.57%
Market Cap
₩349143.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
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/zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed
AU : S&P ASX
5,958.20
+16.60 +0.28%
Volume: 690,015
June 4, 2020 1:47p
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/zigman2/quotes/210431826/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 18.78
+0.08 +0.43%
Volume: 8.52M
June 4, 2020 1:47p
P/E Ratio
16.41
Dividend Yield
6.02%
Market Cap
$58.63 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.00M
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200513631/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 1.68
-0.05 -2.61%
Volume: 10.73M
June 4, 2020 1:47p
P/E Ratio
6.70
Dividend Yield
1.19%
Market Cap
$3.81 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/200985667/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 11.31
-0.02 -0.18%
Volume: 2.90M
June 4, 2020 1:47p
P/E Ratio
25.89
Dividend Yield
2.78%
Market Cap
$17.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/207029716/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 4.53
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Volume: 1.01M
June 4, 2020 1:46p
P/E Ratio
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Dividend Yield
5.08%
Market Cap
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Rev. per Employee
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loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208630299/delayed
AU : Australia: Sydney
$ 20.46
-0.19 -0.92%
Volume: 595,442
June 4, 2020 1:47p
P/E Ratio
47.16
Dividend Yield
1.71%
Market Cap
$7.15 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.42M
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/zigman2/quotes/210598052/delayed
MY : Malaysia
1,550.20
+11.67 +0.76%
Volume: 0.00
June 4, 2020 11:52a
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/zigman2/quotes/211587880/delayed
NZ : New Zealand: NZX
11,173.47
+55.20 +0.50%
Volume: 0.00
June 4, 2020 3:46p
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