Asian share markets rise on economic recovery signs

04 May 2021

Share markets in Asia edged higher on Tuesday on recovery indications as economies start to reopen.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.05%, Reuters reports, whilst Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index opened 0.3% up at 28,441.95.

In addition, Australia's S&P/ASX200 moved up 0.22% to 7,044.3 as the central bank is forecast to hold the cash rate steady at 0.1% for this month.

On Monday, chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy had improved but was "not out of the woods yet".

This is ahead of the Fed publishing a report on the contrasting impact of the coronavirus crisis on the different demographics.

Powell commented: "The economy is reopening, bringing stronger economic activity and job creation.

"That is the high-level perspective - let's call it the 30,000-foot view - and from that vantage point, we see improvement. But we should also take a look at what is happening at street level,” he added.

Asian markets were more upbeat following a more robust Wall Street session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.7% to close at 34,113.23 points, whilst the S&P 500 increased 0.27% to 4,192.66 with the majority of gains focused in industrial and commodity shares.

In addition, the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.48%, to 13,895.12.

Energy stocks also reported gains on higher oil prices.

During the Asian session, Brent crude was up 0.15% at $67.66, and U.S. light crude rose 0.12% to $64.56.

According to ANZ economists: "Crude oil gained (in U.S. trading) as easing restrictions in the U.S. and Europe raise hope of stronger demand. The European Union is planning to ease restrictions on vaccinated travellers over the summer.

"This comes as several countries emerge from lockdowns amid a fall in new infections of the coronavirus."