Asian markets jump out to strong gains to start the week


Asian stock markets posted nearly across-the-board gains in early trading Monday, with South Korea the lone holdout.

The iron-and-steel sector led gains in Japan, helping push the Nikkei

NIK, +0.91%

  up almost 1%. Kobe Steel

5406, +1.51%

 , Sumitomo Metal

5713, +1.44%

  and Aichi Steel

5482, +1.25%

  were all up more than 1%. That came as the dollar hovered around ¥111.30, providing additional support to the stock market. Toyota

7203, +1.95%

  is up more than 1.6% early. The Nikkei has already risen four straight days.

Hong Kong stocks jumped, with the Hang Seng

HSI, +2.09%

  up 1.8% after two days of declines. Energy and tech shares shined, with Sinopec

0386, +4.92%

  extending recent strength with a 3.8% gain following its earnings report. Tech heavyweight Tencent

0700, +1.47%

  rose 1.4%, turning positive for August.

Chinese stocks started strong, nearly matching the gains seen in Hong Kong. Perhaps helped by the end-of-week jump in the yuan, the Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, +1.43%

  was up 0.8% and the Shenzhen Composite

399106, +2.01%

  rose 1.6%. Improving expectations about the currency should help equities rebound near-term, Essence Securities said.

Korea’s Kospi

SEU, +0.21%

  was struggling to make gains following its best week since early March. Construction stocks were down sharply, with cement firm Busan

011390, -8.47%

  skidding 11%.

Indexes in Australia

XJO, +0.26%

  and New Zealand

NZ50GR, +0.33%

  were barely up, but benchmarks in Taiwan

Y9999, +0.79%

 , Singapore

STI, +0.67%

  and Malaysia

FBMKLCI, +0.12%

  all gained 0.5% or more in early trading.

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Source : MTV