Asian markets rise after Powell expresses confidence in recovery


Asian markets advanced in early trading Monday, as U.S. stock futures gained after comments from Fed chief Jerome Powell and crude oil prices rose toward a two-month high.

Japan’s Nikkei
NIK,
+0.48%

gained 0.7% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
HSI,
+0.30%

edged up 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP,
+0.27%

rose 0.4% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
399106,
-0.40%

inched up 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi
180721,
+0.51%

advanced 0.7% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
XJO,
+1.03%

gained 1.4%. Benchmark indexes in Taiwan
Y9999,
-0.68%

, Singapore
STI,
+0.89%

and Indonesia
JAKIDX,
+0.11%

were mixed.

Data showed Monday that Japan sank into recession in the first quarter of 2020, and that the current quarter is expected to be worse. Japan’s economy shrank 3.4% year-over-year in the January-March period, according to the Wall Street Journal, after a 7.3% decline in the previous quarter due to a sales-tax increase. While that was not as bad as the 4.8% pullback expected by economists, the second quarter is expected to shrink by 20% or more, due to the coronavirus state of emergency imposed in April.

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.
9984,
+1.02%

said Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has resigned from its board of…

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