Asian Shares Advance In Thin Holiday Trade

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Asian stocks advanced on Monday in thin holiday trade amid signs that U.S. inflation may be receding. Several markets including Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore were closed for holidays.

China’s Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.65 percent to 3,065.56, with defense-related shares leading the surge amid heightened tensions around the Taiwan Straits.

43 Chinese air force planes crossed the Taiwan Strait’s median line in the past 24 hours, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry reportedly said as Beijing continued its military exercises near Taiwan in response to “provocations” and “collusion” between the United States and the self-ruled island.

Japanese shares rose despite China’s surging COVID19 cases posing a concern.

China will no longer publish daily figures for COVID-19 cases and deaths, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Sunday, ending a practice that began in early 2020.

The Nikkei average settled 0.65 percent higher at 26,405.87 as higher oil prices boosted resource stocks. Tech stocks also gained ground, while financials fell, helping limit the upside. The broader Topix index edged up 0.24 percent to 1,902.52.

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda indicated in a widely watched speech today that the central bank does not intend to alter its longstanding policy of monetary easing to cope with pressures from inflation on the world’s third-largest economy.

Seoul stocks eked out modest gains, with the Kospi average closing 0.15 percent higher at 2,317.14 on institutional buying. India’s Sensex was trading up more than 1 percent after a sharp slide last week.

U.S. stocks eked out modest gains on Friday after data showed consumer spending and inflation slowed in November but not enough to discourage the Federal Reserve from driving interest rates to higher levels next year.

The Dow rose half a percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.6 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.2 percent.

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