Asian shares rise despite rise in China’s COVID cases Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An investor looks at a board displaying stock information at a brokerage firm in Beijing, China, October 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Scott Murdoch

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares were mostly in positive territory on Wednesday despite rising COVID-19 cases in mainland China, leaving investors uncertain about how much the new outbreak will slow the reopening of the world’s second-largest economy. open.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent after U.S. stocks closed higher in the previous session. The index is up 12% so far this month.

Australian shares rose 0.7% as oil prices rose, with mining and resources majors gaining most of the gains. Japanese stocks were closed for a national holiday.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand on Wednesday raised interest rates by 75 basis points, the largest ever, to a near 14-year high of 4.25%, and signaled further hikes are on the way as it struggles to contain persistently high inflation.

Hong Kong shares rose 0.6% in early trade, while China’s CSI 300 opened little changed.

China on Wednesday reported 29,157 new COVID infections on Nov. 22, compared with 28,127 a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission. The number of cases in Beijing and Shanghai has risen steadily, prompting authorities to close some facilities.

“The most important story for Asian investors remains China’s reopening,” said Suresh Tantia, senior investment strategist at Credit Suisse in Singapore.

“We’ve seen a 20% rise in the Chinese market, but those expectations are coming back, we think reopening will be a slower process, it won’t be done in a hurry. That means a lot of investors are cutting exposure, cutting their investments Lose or count any profits they may have made in China.”

Meanwhile, investors were eagerly awaiting the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s November policy meeting later on Wednesday, as they looked to see how officials viewed the state of the economy.

It rose 1.2 percent to 34,098.1 on Tuesday, rose 1.4 percent to 4,003.58 and rose 1.4 percent to 11,174.41. Energy stocks led gains, driven by higher oil prices.

The benchmark yield rose to 3.7578%, compared with Tuesday’s U.S. close of 3.758%.

The two-year yield hit 4.5227%, compared with a U.S. close of 4.517%, rising as traders expected a rise in the Fed funds rate.

USD/JPY fell 0.02% to 141.21.

The European single currency was up 0.0x?% on the day at $1.0303, up 4.26% in a month, while the tracker US dollar fell to 107.14 against a basket of currencies of its other major trading partners.

“The dollar has lost some of its recent gains as the consensus among central bankers on how much further rates should rise is disintegrating,” Commonwealth Bank analyst Tobin Gorey wrote on Wednesday.

“Smaller or fewer rate hikes may be less of a cause for optimism than less pessimism.”

Oil prices continued to move higher on Wednesday after top exporter Saudi Arabia said OPEC+ would maintain production cuts and could take further steps to balance the market.

It rose 0.3 percent to $81.15 a barrel during Asian trading hours. It rose to $88.35 a barrel.

Gold edged lower. It was trading at $1740.09 an ounce. [GOL/]

While the collapse of the FTX exchange continued to roil the cryptocurrency market, it rose 0.33% to $16,184 during Asian trading hours.

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