Asia-Pacific stocks rise; China announces financial support for Covid-hit sectors

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific edged higher in Tuesday morning trade, as investors watched for market reaction to China’s central bank announcing financial support for Covid-hit sectors.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan jumped 1.11% in early trade while the Topix index gained 0.99%. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.72%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.22%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.13% higher.

On Monday, the People’s Bank of China announced it will increase financial support for industries, businesses and people affected by Covid-19.

The announcement came after China reported mixed economic data, with retail sales in March coming in below expectations while first-quarter GDP was higher than anticipated. Mainland China has for weeks been battling its most severe Covid outbreak since the initial phase of the pandemic in 2020.

Shares on Wall Street slipped overnight stateside. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 39.54 points, or 0.11%, to 34,411.69 while the S&P 500 was little changed at 4,391.69. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.14% to 13,332.36.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 100.819 as it continues climbing following its bounce from below 100 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 127.14 per dollar, weaker as compared with levels below 125.6 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7358, struggling to recover after falling from above $0.745 in the previous trading week.

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