Stocks in Asia Pacific were higher in Tuesday morning trade after the S&P 500 touched another record high overnight on Wall Street.
Stocks in Japan led gains among the region’s major markets in morning trade, with the Nikkei 225 jumping 1.43% while the Topix index advanced 1.3%.
Mainland Chinese stocks rose in early trade, with the Shanghai composite up 0.66% and Shenzhen component gained 0.793%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index edged about 0.1% higher.
South Korea’s Kospi also rose 1.06%.
Shares in Australia also edged higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.52%.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.38% higher.
Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a call with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He Monday evening stateside to “discuss implementation of the historic Phase One Agreement between the United States and China,” according to a statement released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The conversation was also confirmed by Chinese state media agency Xinhua.
According to the USTR: “Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement.”
In corporate developments, shares of Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical rose 0.72% in Tuesday morning trade after the firm on Monday announced the sale of its Japan Consumer Health Care Business Unit to Blackstone for 242 billion Japanese yen ($2.28 billion).
Takeda CEO Christophe Weber said the company’s decision to sell its Japanese over-the-counter (OTC) unit was due to the difficulty for the pharmaceutical firm to continue investing in OTC businesses while also attempting to develop new drugs for more serious diseases, according to an online briefing cited by Reuters.
S&P 500 hits all-time high
Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 1% to 3,431.28 and hit an all-time high, with Monday also marking the index’s first-ever close above 3,400. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 378.13 points, or 1.4%, to end its trading day at 28,308.46. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.6% to close at 11,379.72 and also reached a record.
The moves upward came on the back of positive sentiment surrounding the coronavirus pandemic situation in the U.S., with data compiled by Johns Hopkins University showing newly confirmed virus infections falling under 37,000 and have been below 50,000 since mid-August.
The Food and Drug Administration also approved the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for coronavirus patients, though scientists and public health officials have raised doubts over its effectiveness as a treatment. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is also reportedly considering fast-tracking an experimental vaccine from the U.K.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.212 after touching an earlier high of 93.347.
The Japanese yen traded at 105.92 per dollar after seeing levels below 105.5 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7174 following a decline yesterday from levels around $0.72.
Oil prices were mixed in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.18% at $45.21 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.16% to $42.55 per barrel.
— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.