Asia Pacific Markets Rise; Hong Kong’s Hang Seng in the bear sanctuary

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SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks rose in trading Monday morning as investors look to the Hong Kong opening after the Hang Seng index plunged into a bear market last week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.99% in early trading while the Topix index rose 1.29%.

Kospi from South Korea gained 0.78%. In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 climbed 0.31%.

MSCI’s broadest index for Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan traded 0.23% higher.

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Investors will be watching the Hong Kong market, which opens at 9:30 a.m. HK / SIN after the Hang Seng index fell more than 20% from its mid-February high through heavy losses last week as regulatory uncertainty over the outlook continues to cloud for Chinese technology companies.

Other factors that could weigh on investor sentiment include concerns about a possible withdrawal of monetary policy stimulus by the US Federal Reserve and the continued proliferation of the Delta-Covid-19 variant.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, hit 93.485 after its recent surge from below 93.2.

The Japanese yen was trading at 109.85, stronger than levels above 110 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was trading at $ 0.7142 after falling above $ 0.729 last week.

Oil prices were higher on the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude oil futures rising 0.6% to $ 65.57 a barrel. US crude oil futures rose 0.48% to $ 62.44 a barrel.