Asian stocks were trading mostly positive on Monday (24 April) following the recent optimism expressed by IMF's World Economic Outlook report and the Global Financial Stability Report. The positive trend was further reinforced by a favorable result of the preliminary round of the French elections.
Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron emerged as the lead in the preliminary voting round, while populist candidate Marine Le Pen followed in a close second. With some candidates from other parties now backing the former, a strong possibility for Macron to win would help remedy the geopolitical uncertainty that has been weighing on investors' nerves.
"A collective sigh of relief will encompass the markets this morning, as the French election results have avoided the worst possible outcome of a Le Pen versus Melenchon runoff vote," further added Gary Burton, Market Analyst at IG Melbourne.
The following index quotes were logged on 7:05am BST.
Japan: Nikkei 225- Up by 1.47% to 18,893.82
Investors seem to respond favorably to the Bank of Japan's commitment to maintaining a loose monetary policy. Moreover, the recent release of strong trade figures may have further given credibility to the central bank's policy.
Consumer electronic giants Sony Corp (+4.06%), Panasonic Corp (+3.44%) emerged as the index's strongest performers, with Kikkoman Corp (+2.55%) registering a smooth recovery.
The commodities sector witnessed a downturn as Toho Zinc Co (-1.49%), Nisshin Steel Co (-1.09%), Kobe Steel (-0.51%), Tokai Carbon Co (-0.44%) were the weakest performers.
Hong Kong: Hang Seng- Up by 0.06% to 24,057.09
Li Ka-shing owned CK Hutchinson Holdings (+2.04%) and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings (+3.08%) were the index's strongest performers along with internet giant Tencent Holdings (0.51%).
China: Shanghai Composite- Down by 1.72% to 3,118.7
Despite the nation's strong economic growth reported for the first quarter of 2017, the Shanghai Composite wavered with a sharp decline of nearly 2%.
Reuters had reported on Monday (April 24) that 29 Chinese steel companies had their licenses revoked by the government due to failure of complying with state regulations and long term production suspensions.
The steel sector disruption may have left investors anxious as China is the world's largest producer of steel.
Australia: S&P/ASX- Up by 0.23% to 5,867.699
Singapore: Straits Times Index- Down by 0.09% to 3,136.32
India: Sensex- Up by 0.42% to 29,488.61