SINGAPORE – Asian stocks rose on Monday morning as the final week of 2020 begins.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.32% while the Topix index rose 0.27%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.86%.
MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.18%.
Chinese industrial companies’ profits rose 15.5% year over year in November, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Alibaba’s shares in Hong Kong will be monitored by investors on Monday. This came after Chinese regulators ordered Alibaba subsidiary Ant Group to rectify its business.
The markets in Australia and New Zealand are closed on Monday for public holidays.
Regarding coronavirus developments, the US faces an imminent government shutdown as President Donald Trump refused to sign a $ 900 billion Covid-19 relief bill passed by both chambers of Congress. Trump criticized the $ 600 direct bill payments to Americans, calling for $ 2,000 checks instead.
Currencies and oil
The Japanese yen was trading at 103.54 per dollar after seeing below 103.4 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7613 after recovering from plunging below $ 0.75 last week.
Oil prices fell on the morning of trading hours in Asia, with the international benchmark Brent crude oil futures falling 0.8% to $ 50.88 a barrel. The US crude oil futures were also down 0.81% to $ 47.84 a barrel.