The Asian and Pacific Rim markets shrugged off shocking bad gross domestic product (GDP) data out of Singapore to follow Wall Street mostly higher. There is, however, continued political tension between China and the United States weighing on trader sentiment.
In Japan, the Asian benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.62 percent and in Tokyo, the broader Topix index was up over two percent by the late morning. The financial markets in Japan were closed Monday for a public holiday.
In South Korea, the Kospi composite index was up over 1.23 percent and elsewhere in the Asian and Pacific Rim, the Australian S&P ASX 200 was up 0.95 percent. The heavily weighted financial sub-index was up 1.75 percent.
In Hong Kong, the headline Hang Seng index was trading up over two percent and the headline bourses, on China’s mainland were also higher.
The Shanghai composite added over half a percent and the smaller Shenzhen composite was up 0.67 percent. The Shenzhen component is trading up 0.50 percent.
Asian Traders Shrug off Singapore’s GDP Contraction
The second quarter gross domestic product, for the region’s key trade hub, Singapore, contracted by 42.9 percent. This means that Singapore is now in a technical recession as the island nation has seen two straight quarters of economic contraction. Their economy had shut down through the first quarter to contain the spread of the Covid-19 (coronavirus).
The Singapore Straits Times index was trading up by 0.23 percent.
China Announces Sanction against U.S. Citizens
The political test of will between the world’s two largest economies continues to mount. China has announced sanctions against eleven (11) U.S. citizens including GOP Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley and Pat Toomey. They are all critical against China over their involvement in Hong Kong.
Washington DC, last week, announced sanctions against 11 Chinese citizens including the leader of Hong Kong, Carrier Lam. The State Department cited their roles for “implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes.”