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Asia-Pacific shares rise ahead of major economic data


Japanese stocks led gains among the region’s major markets, with the Nikkei 225 rising 2.12%

Shares in Asia-Pacific rose in Monday morning trade as investors look ahead to major economic data releases later in the week.

Japanese stocks led gains among the region’s major markets, with the Nikkei 225 rising 2.12% as shares of robot maker Fanuc jumped more than 4%. The Topix index traded 1.82% higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 1.87% by Monday afternoon in the city. Over in mainland China, the Shanghai Composite edged about 0.3% higher while the Shenzhen Component rose 0.727%.

The Kospi in South Korea also climbed 1.19%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 1.29% higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan traded 1.65% higher.

Regional investor sentiment on Monday may have been boosted by a relaxation of Covid controls over the weekend in the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

Several major data releases are expected later in the week. China is set to announce its official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May on Tuesday, with investors looking for clues on the economic impact of Covid-related lockdowns on the mainland.

For the week ahead, watch for the PMIs especially from China which may show a modest rebound from April’s slump but stay in contraction territory, analysts at OCBC Treasury Research wrote in a Monday note.

U.S. jobs data is expected Friday. Markets in the U.S. are closed on Monday for a holiday.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.549 following a recent drop from levels above 102.

The Japanese yen traded at 126.99 per dollar, stronger as compared with levels above 127.8 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7169 after a climb last week from below $0.71.

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