TOKYO/NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asian shares advanced on Tuesday as positive economic data from China and the United States helped to close out a strong quarter, though a renewed surge in global coronavirus cases underlined a challenging investment climate.
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask walks past the Singapore Exchange (SGX) in central business district area in Singapore, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.51%, on course for its highest quarterly gain in nearly 11 years.
However, it was not clear whether the optimism would carry over into European trading, with EUROSTOXX 50 futures losing 0.7%, FTSE futures shedding 0.36%, and E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 down 0.24%.
Asian markets got an early boost after an official survey on China’s vast factory sector showed activity quickened last month, defying expectations for a modest slowdown. That came on top of strong U.S. housing market data overnight, which helped drive up Wall Street stocks despite a worrying surge in coronavirus cases in the country and around the world.
The Chinese factory data lifted its blue chips which jumped 0.82% to their highest level since mid March.
Still, most analysts cautioned against getting carried away by the factory data, noting that export orders were still contracting.
“The divergence of the domestic recovery and foreign orders contraction highlights that the Chinese economy remains affected by the global situation for the Covid-19 pandemic,” ING analysts said in a note.
“As new infection cases globally continue to grow, we believe that China will continue to face a contraction in export orders in the coming months.”
The headline numbers, however, were enough to cheer markets.
Shares in Australia were also up 1.43%, Korea jumped 1% and Japan