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Asian Markets In Positive Territory

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Asian stock markets are in positive territory on Monday despite the absence of fresh cues from Wall Street, which was closed for a holiday on Friday. Investors continue to expect fiscal stimulus measures to support a global economic recovery and shrugged off worries about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and other parts of the world.

The World Health Organization said that more than 200,000 coronavirus cases were confirmed worldwide on Saturday, marking the highest single-day total since the start of the pandemic.

The Australian market is edging higher after a weak start.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is up 4.60 points or 0.08 percent to 6,062.50, after touching a low of 6,031.70 earlier. The broader All Ordinaries Index is adding 8.90 points or 0.14 percent to 6,172.60. Australian stocks closed higher for a fourth day on Friday.

Among the major miners, BHP is declining almost 1 percent, Rio Tinto is down 0.6 percent and Fortescue Metals is lower by 0.4 percent.

Gold miners are also lower. Newcrest Mining is lower by more than 1 percent and Evolution Mining is down 0.2 percent.

In the oil sector, Santos is advancing more than 1 percent, Woodside Petroleum is adding 0.4 percent and Oil Search is up 0.3 percent.

In the banking space, ANZ Banking is rising 0.4 percent and National Australia Bank is adding 0.2 percent, while Commonwealth Bank is lower by 0.2 percent and Westpac is unchanged.

Mayne Pharma has entered into an agreement with China's Novast Laboratories to manufacture thirteen oral contraceptives that will be marketed in the U.S. The pharmaceuticals provider's shares are gaining almost 10 percent.

Event Hospitality and Entertainment said that a majority of its cinemas in Australia and New Zealand have reopened after being close since March due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The company added it will not pay a final dividend for the year ended June 2020 or the half year ending December 31, 2020. The cinema and hotel operator's shares are down more than 3 percent.

In the currency market, the Australian dollar is lower against the U.S. dollar on Monday. The local unit was quoted at $0.6959, compared to $0.6936 on Friday.

The Japanese market is advancing, with investors shrugging off worries about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Tokyo. On Sunday, Tokyo reported 111 new coronavirus cases, exceeding more than 100 coronavirus infections for the fourth straight day.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 Index is adding 231.86 points or 1.04 percent to 22,538.34, after touching a high of 22,541.26 earlier. Japanese shares closed higher on Friday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing are rising more than 1 percent each.

In the financial sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial are adding 0.5 percent each.

The major exporters are also higher on a weaker yen. Panasonic is higher by almost 3 percent, Canon is advancing more than 1 percent, Mitsubishi Electric is adding 0.5 percent and Sony is up 0.3 percent.

In the tech space, Advantest is rising more than 2 percent and Tokyo Electron is higher by more than 1 percent. Among automakers, Toyota is rising 0.6 percent and Honda is up 0.5 percent.

In the oil sector, Japan Petroleum is adding 0.2 percent, while Inpex is edging down 0.1 percent.

Among the major gainers, Mitsui E&S is rising more than 4 percent, Yaskawa Electric is higher by more than 3 percent and Z Holdings is advancing more than 2 percent.

On the flip side, Sumitomo Realty & Development, Chugai Pharmaceutical, Tokyu Corp., Mitsui Fudosan and Shionogi & Co. are all lower by more than 1 percent each.

In the currency market, the U.S. dollar is trading in the upper 107 yen-range on Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Shanghai is gaining almost 4 percent and Hong Kong is rising more than 2 percent, while South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan are advancing more than 1 percent each. Singapore, New Zealand and Indonesia are also higher.

The U.S. stock markets were closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday.

The major European markets ended lower on Friday as rising coronavirus cases in the U.S. raised fears of another lockdown in several states and dimmed hopes about a quick economic recovery. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 1.33 percent, Germany's DAX shed 0.64 percent and France's CAC 40 slid 0.84 percent.

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