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Taiwan’s Taiex bounces back as it soars more than 5%; Asia-Pacific markets mostly rise


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific mostly jumped on Tuesday, as stocks in Taiwan led gains among the region’s major markets.

The Taiex in Taiwan surged 5.16% to close at 16,145.98. Those gains followed a nearly 3% drop on Monday amid fears of domestic coronavirus infections.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 also saw robust gains as it jumped 2.09% on the day to 28,406.84 while the Topix index advanced 1.54% to finish the trading day at 1,907.74.

Japan’s economy shrank at an annualized rate of 5.1% in January to March, government data showed Tuesday. On a seasonally adjusted basis, gross domestic product in January-March fell 1.3% quarter-on-quarter, slightly lower than expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.2% decline. That came as resurgent Covid infections in the country snapped two quarters of consecutive growth.

Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index rose 1.31%, as of its final hour of trading. Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed, with the Shanghai composite gaining 0.32% to 3,529.01 while the Shenzhen component dipped fractionally to 14,450.60.

South Korea’s Kospi edged 1.23% higher to end the trading day at 3,173.05.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia rose 0.6% to close at 7,066. Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s May monetary policy meeting released Tuesday showed the central bank’s board viewed the conditions for a rate rise as unlikely to be met “until 2024 at the earliest.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan surged 1.65%.

On the coronavirus front, the World Health Organization warned Monday that the global pandemic isn’t over yet despite high Covid vaccination rates in some countries. In Asia, places such as Singapore and Taiwan have seen a recent resurgence in local infections, prompting authorities to tighten restrictions in a bid to stem the virus’ spread.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.906 — off levels above 90.8 seen last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.96 per dollar after strengthening from levels around 109.5 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7807, stronger than levels below $0.774 seen last week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.99% to $70.15 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.97% to $66.91 per barrel.

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