Asian markets rise despite warning on global recovery

Associated Press

Stocks rise the most in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Seoul

Pedestrians walk through an empty street in the Itaewon district of Seoul.

Bloomberg News

Asian stock markets rose Monday after Wall Street hit a new high despite lingering unease about a possible second wave of coronavirus infections.

The Nikkei 225

in Tokyo added 0.3% and the Hang Seng

in Hong Kong advanced 1.5%. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2% while the Shenzhen Composite gained 1.2%. The Kospi

in Seoul was 1% higher and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

gained 0.2%. Benchmarks in Taiwan

, New Zealand

and Singapore

advanced while Indonesia

was flat.

Global markets have recovered most of this year’s losses despite rising infection numbers in the United States, Brazil and some other countries.

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index ended last week up 0.7%, though the majority of stocks in the index declined. The gain was driven by the strength of technology stocks.

Forecasters say the recovery might be too early to be sustained by uncertain economic activity. Major market benchmarks have been lifted by outperformance by big companies, while smaller stocks still are down.

The global economy “offers few reasons to be upbeat,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.

If a “second wave” of infections hits, renewed curbs on business and travel “could hamper the trajectory of economic recovery,” the bank said.

Stocks have powered higher despite signs economic growth in the United States and Europe might be weakening.

Investors have been encouraged by central bank efforts to support growth with infusions of credit. Many are trying to look beyond the end of the pandemic to pick companies that will emerge stronger. That has led many to pile into tech stocks.

On Friday, the S&P 500

rose 0.3% to 3,397.16. It ended the week up 0.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

climbed 0.7% to 27,930.33. The Nasdaq composite

added 0.4% to 11,311.80.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude

gained 2 cents to $42.36 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 48 cents on Friday to settle at $42.34. Brent crude

, the international standard, was unchanged at $44.35 per barrel in London. It lost 55 cents the previous session.

The dollar

held steady at 105.80 yen.

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