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  • Asian shares kick-start 2021 on upbeat PMIs from Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.
  • Japan teases emergency, China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI eases in December.
  • New Zealand announced border restrictions, NYSE said to delist Chinese stocks.

Asian equities trade positive during the first trading day of 2021 as key activity numbers from key members overcome the coronavirus (COVID-19) worries and the US-China tussle during early Monday. While portraying the mood, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan refreshes record high with over 1.0% gains while Japan’s Nikkei 225 drops 0.50% by press time.

Although China’s Caixin Manufacturing PMI eased in December, PMI numbers from Japan, Indonesia and South Korea portrayed recovery in activity numbers during the end of 2020. Also favoring the mood could be news that Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as the US House Speaker. Pelosi has been a great supporter of easy money and with the Democrats likely to retake controls of the White House, traders smell more money in the markets during 2021.

On the other hand, Japan is up for a one-month emergency amid a jump in the covid numbers while South Korea is to expand the ban on gatherings of more than four as a protective measure. Further, New Zealand tightens border controls and Scotland is up for fresh lockdown from Monday.

Read: US’ Fauci: US coronavirus outbreak could get worse in coming weeks

Additionally, chatters surrounding the top three Chinese telecommunication companies’ delisting from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) renews tension between Beijing and Washington whereas geopolitical fears emanating from Iran are extra worries to take care of.

Against this backdrop, S&P 500 Futures wobble around the record top marked last week whereas shares in Australia gain over 1.40% but New Zealand’s NZX 50 remains sluggish with minor gains amid fresh COVID-19 fears. Chinese stocks trim early Asian session gains amid while South Korea’s KOSPI becomes the regional winner with over 2.0% gains by press time.

Looking forward, a few more readings of December’s activity numbers can entertain market players before Friday’s headline US employment data for December.

Read: S&P 500 Futures print mild losses as virus woes, US-China tension probe bulls near record top