asia

Japan, Hong Kong stocks jump nearly 2% each as Asia-Pacific markets rise


SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose in Tuesday trade as markets in mainland China remain closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which returned to trade following holidays in the last few days, jumped 1.8% by the afternoon.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.88% while the Topix index gained 1%. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.34% higher.

Stocks in Australia also rose, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.59%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.62%.

RBA monetary policy meeting minutes

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s February monetary policy meeting, released on Tuesday showed members concluding that “very significant monetary support would be required for some time as it would be some years before the Bank’s goals for inflation and unemployment were achieved.”

“Given this, it would be premature to consider withdrawing monetary stimulus,” the RBA added in the minutes.

Markets stateside were closed on Monday for a holiday.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.283 following its decline late last week from above 90.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.59 per dollar after weakening yesterday from levels below 105.2 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7796, still higher than levels below $0.772 seen last week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up about 0.5% to $63.62 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.35% to $60.27 per barrel.



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